With the decision by CVS drug stores to stop selling cigarettes, it could be a positive for gas stations and convenience stores. “We do sell to adults a legal product,” says Bill Fleischli, executive vice president of the Illinois Petroleum Marketers Association and Illinois Association of Convenience Stores, “and I think CVS getting out of the business will afford us, probably, an opportunity to expand our customer base.”
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Fleischli says he believes the public has gotten used to such laws as Smoke Free Illinois, enhanced most recently by a ban on smoking on college campuses. Fleischli says he does not smoke himself and would not comment on whether society and government are harassing or bullying people who do smoke.
He says taxes are a bigger problem, with gasoline and cigarettes being taxed at a lower rate in Missouri. The disparity in taxes on cigarettes is especially big: $1.98 in state taxes on a pack of smokes in Illinois, and a lowest-in-the-nation 17 cents a pack in Missouri.