Fitch files action against tobacco shop

Ashley Stinnett Aug. 18, 2009, 3:00pm


CONCORD, N.H. (Legal Newsline) - Acting New Hampshire Attorney General Orville Fitch on Tuesday filed an action against Brookline-based Tobacco Haven, asking the court to recognize the company as a tobacco manufacturer.

The action asks the Merrimack Superior Court to declare the company a tobacco products manufacturer subject it to the requirements the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Act.

Tobacco Haven is a retail tobacco shop.

Fitch is also asking the court to order Tobacco Haven and its owner, Joseph Correia, Jr., to stop production of cigarettes until the case is resolved.

The MSA was designed to hold tobacco manufacturers responsible for the costs paid by the State for its Medicaid expenses in treating patients suffering from tobacco-related ailments. Forty-six states and six territories are signed into it, and it has an estimated worth of $246 billion over its first 25 years.

Tobacco manufacturers, under the order of MSA, are also required to pay the state annually.

The MSA requires that all tobacco product manufacturers either join in the MSA and make the required payments or establish an escrow account and pay a set amount into that account based upon the number of products the manufacturer sells in the state.

According to Fitch's office, Tobacco Haven is allegedly acting as a manufacturer and must either join the MSA or establish the escrow account.

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