STATEWIDE REGULATION OF TOBACCO RETAILERS


 
By Bob Katzen 

A measure before the Public Health Committee would allow the state, rather than cities and towns, to regulate sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products.
  Supporters say local tobacco regulations vary widely and that the state should regulate this important market. They argue that when a community bans a tobacco product from being sold, local stores lose money to stores in neighboring communities. They note that the buyer will go to the out-of-town community not just to buy the tobacco product but to buy other things he or she would have bought in his or her own city or town.
   Opponents say that cities and towns and their local boards of health should make these decisions and that local government is often the best government and is closer to the people.

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