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Alberta convenience store owners leery about possibility of menthol tobacco ban

WATCH ABOVE: There are more calls on the Notley government to include menthol in a province-wide ban of flavoured tobacco. Lisa Wolansky reports. 

EDMONTON – A group that represents Alberta convenience store owners is fuming over indications the province will ban the sale of menthol-flavoured tobacco.

The Western Convenience Stores Association says lobbyists for health organizations are trying to shame the new NDP government into making it impossible for adults to buy menthol cigarettes.

READ MORE: Alberta to review menthol cigarette ban in the fall

Association president Andrew Klukas says a ban would hurt the bottom line of stores, cost the government tax revenue and drive the sale of menthol tobacco underground.

Les Hagen of the group Action on Smoking and Health says the menthol tobacco market is aimed at young people and a ban on the flavour is overdue.

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READ MORE: No provincial consensus on menthol-flavoured tobacco ban: Ambrose

Hagen notes that Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec have either banned menthol or have plans to do so.

The Alberta NDP has been in favour of a menthol ban and Premier Rachel Notley said Wednesday she expects there will be an  announcement in the coming days.