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News: New Anti-Smoking Proposal Would Devastate Local Cigar Shops

10 May 2012

Between smoking bans, sky-high taxes, and pending FDA regulation, cigars are seemingly always under siege. But two Massachusetts towns are proposing a new attack  on cigars.

The local health boards of Saugus and Bedford are considering tobacco regulation ordinances that include two provisions that would be specifically devastating to local B&M cigar shops. The proposed regulations would require cigars to be sold in packages of four or more, and would set minimum wholesale and retail prices.

If approved, the tradition of walking into your local shop and buying one cigar to try before buying more would be eliminated. The provisions stem from a Massachusetts law that gives local boards of health power to consider this kind of restriction.

The law would also set minimum prices for cigars. Ironically, if cigar companies got together to establish minimum prices it would be a clear violation of anti-trust laws.

According to research conducted by the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), while the state of Massachusetts has a minimum cigarette pricing law, there is no similar law in the state setting the minimum price of other tobacco products such as cigars.

NATO is challenging the laws on the basis that the Massachusetts legislature has not passed a statute authorizing local boards of health to set minimum prices for cigars. According to the group, there is no mention of statutory authority for local Massachusetts boards of health having the power to ban the sale of legal cigar products in certain package sizes or set minimum cigar prices.

It’s easy to dismiss this new effort as an isolated incident, but nearly all anti-cigar schemes started in states with anti-tobacco track records, including New York, Massachusetts, and California. Cigar smokers everywhere have good reason to oppose this new attack on cigars and cigar shops before the scheme spreads across the nation.

Patrick S

photo credit: Wikipedia

Drew Estate

2 Responses to “News: New Anti-Smoking Proposal Would Devastate Local Cigar Shops”

  1. phosphatidlycholine Friday, July 6, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

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  1. Latest Cigar Shops News » Awesome cigar | Awesome cigar - Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    […] News: New Anti-Smoking Proposal Would Devastate Local Cigar Shops But two Massachusetts towns are proposing a new attack on cigars. The local health boards of Saugus and Bedford are considering tobacco regulation ordinances that include two provisions that would be specifically devastating to local B&M cigar shops. Read more on Stogie Guys Online Cigar Magazine […]