Tag Archives: cigarettes

Decline in teen smoking jeopardizes profits for Northfield’s Muni, funding for Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol & Drug Use

Teen smoking is declining, according to a recent Monitoring the Future press release:

The 2011 national survey results from the Monitoring the Future study show decreases in teen smoking in all three grades under study—grades 8, 10, and 12. The proportion saying that they smoked at all in the prior 30 days fell significantly for the three grades combined, from 12.8% in 2010 to 11.7% this year.

Northfield Municipal Liquor StoreOfficials from the City of Northfield this week, while acknowledging that this is good news for obvious reasons, expressed some concern because the Northfield Municipal Liquor Store profits from its sale of cigarettes and cigars.

"These teens are our potential future customers," said Juan Morefore DeRhode, Muni Manager.  "If this trend holds up, we’re going to have to revisit the revenue projections in our long-range plan and adjust accordingly." 

When asked what marketing strategies he’d consider that might help to ensure future tobacco revenues, DeRhode said he continues to have discussions with the gift shop at the Northfield Hospital, owned by the City of Northfield but operated by the Northfield Hospital Auxiliary. "We’ve always said that one of the reasons we carry tobacco products at the Muni is for the convenience of the customer.  That rationale holds up for the hospital’s gift shop, too, with so many of its patients addicted to tobacco. We’d be delighted to work with them and split the profits."

The issue was on the agenda of Northfield’s Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol & Drug Use last week.

"Tobacco will prematurely kill the kids who smoke but only when they get much older," said Task Force member Dr. Kirsten Mashton.  "So we’re not really concerned about that.  Our worries are tied to the revenue projections. We received $15,750 in 2011 from the Muni. If the decline in teen smoking continues, that jeopardizes our future funding and our ability to make an impact."

The City’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) is also concerned. "We worked hard to bring two tobacco businesses to Northfield in the past year," said EDA President Janis Tappan. "It would be a shame if Tobacco Field or Division Tobacco took a hit from this decline in teen smoking and had to close."

Tobacco competitors encroaching on City of Northfield’s revenue stream; budget implications loom

tobacco palsCity of Northfield faux logojoe-camel-tn

The City of Northfield has had the exclusive franchise on selling tobacco downtown for quite a while. Yes, you can buy cigars and cigarettes at the Muni.

Six months ago, Tobacco Field opened near downtown on So. Hwy 3. And now, Division Tobacco is coming to Division St. Nfld Patch: Legal restrictions force councilors to allow downtown tobacco shop

In a near legally mandated vote, councilors approved 5-2 to allow a business owner with a history of criminal disputes and stores that sold drug paraphernalia to open a new shop in Northfield.

Councilors Rhonda Pownell and Kris Vohs voted against the measure despite city attorney Chris Hood’s claim that Northfield "[does not] have sufficient basis to deny" a license and risked legal action if it denied the license.

With tough budgeting on the horizon for the City, I’m wondering what Muni manager Stephen DeLong has in mind to ratchet up tobacco revenue.

Let’s help him out by brainstorming some suggestions.

Surgeon General: Just one cigarette can harm you. City of Northfield: Buy it from us.

Last week saw many stories in the media like this one from USA Today, Just one cigarette can harm DNA, Surgeon General says:

Smooth ReaperEven brief exposure to tobacco smoke causes immediate harm to the body, damaging cells and inflaming tissue in ways that can lead to serious illness and death, according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s new report on tobacco, the first such report in four years.

While the report, out today, focuses on the medical effects of smoke on the body, it also sheds light on why cigarettes are so addictive: They are designed to deliver nicotine more quickly and more efficiently than cigarettes did decades ago.

Unlike (many? most? all?) municipal liquor stores in the Twin Cities area, the Northfield Municipal Liquor Store continues to sell cigarettes, hundreds of dollars worth every month, for an annual profit of aboutf $5,000/year.

I last whined about this policy in August of 2007 (Should the City of Northfield be selling gateway drugs to its citizens? Alcohol, yes. Tobacco, no) and before that in January of ’07 with a faux news post, Northfield Hospital board opts for cigarette revenue.

I really don’t understand why the Northfield Hospital Board, the Northfield Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Alcohol and Drug Use (MTF), the Northfield School Board, and other local organizations concerned with health and youth chemical issues don’t pressure the Northfield City Council to get out of the tobacco business. Don’t they take ClearWay Minnesota‘s campaign We all pay the price for tobacco seriously?