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Cleveland City Council is considering a ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products within the city.

The ban was introduced last month and has yet to make it to the Health Committee for discussion.

The proposed legislation would also require tobacco retailers to have a license and would allow the Cleveland Public Health Department to check compliance and fine or close businesses that repeatedly violate it.

Many local tobacco retailers have voiced their opposition to the measure, claiming it would cost them business and customers.

However, similar bans enacted in other cities have not resulted in a significant loss of business for retailers.

The ordinance has the support of multiple hospitals and health agencies, as Cleveland has the highest rate of tobacco product use in the country at 35%, three times higher than the national average.

Most kids who start using tobacco products, about 95-97%, begin with flavored products.

The proposed ban has caused controversy across the state, with some supporting education rather than a blanket ban.

The penalties for stores violating the ban would range from a $500 fine for the first offense to months of store closure, and ultimately the loss of their tobacco sale license.

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