Advocates for a statewide ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products hauled nearly 10,000 postcards to the State House Tuesday to urge lawmakers to support pending legislation.

“I believe that flavored tobacco products are among the most dangerous things we are facing as students in Maine,” Cony High School sophomore Matteo Hardy said during a Hall of Flags press conference.

Dozens of supporters came to Augusta to urge passage of LD 1215, which passed the Senate last year but stalled in the House in June when it was tabled. With an effective date of Jan. 1, 2025, the bill proposes to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, including flavored cigars and electronic smoking devices.

Absent action at the state level, seven cities and towns have enacted local bans, including Hallowell, which approved a ban on Monday night. It joins Bangor, Bar Harbor, Brunswick, Freeport, Portland and South Portland, which all have local sales bans.

But opponents of the statewide ban say similar action in Massachusetts in 2020 didn’t reduce youth smoking rates, cut state revenues and created a new black market for the products.

“I understand they want to keep tobacco products away from people under 21,” said Peter Brennan, executive director of the New England Convenience Store & Marketers Association. “But we don’t really see people under 21 getting them in our stores.”

Brennan said the stores — which number about 1,000 in Maine — have a policy of asking for identification from anyone who looks younger than 30. Teens looking to buy the products can do so online, he said.

He also pointed to the projected loss in Maine state revenues of $24 million per year, an estimate prepared by the state’s fiscal office.

One of those who signed a post card, Madeleine DesFosses of Portland, said about 2,500 Mainers die each year of tobacco-related illnesses.

“That means that smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined each year in Maine,” DesFosses said.

And parent Mary Lou Warn said her son got addicted to flavored tobacco in high school and has struggled to break the habit even as an adult. She called on lawmakers to help parents keep their children safe.

“Maine state lawmakers have an important role in protecting public health and that includes the health of our youth,” she said. “Passing LD 1215 will help curb tobacco use across generations, but especially among youth who reported flavors as the leading reason why they use tobacco products.”