Delaney says tobacco retailers are now manufacturers

Keith Loria Jul. 20, 2010, 3:40pm


CONCORD, N.H. (Legal Newsline) - New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney announced on Tuesday that his office has brought lawsuits against two tobacco retailers.

East-West Distributors, doing business as Smoke N Discounts and Tobacco Depot, recently installed machines capable of making cigarettes. The machines can produce a carton of cigarettes in approximately eight minutes.

The materials needed to make the cigarettes are sold by the companies, which also provide access to the machines to their customers.

By selling these items and providing access to the machines, Delaney alleges, they are in violation of the Non-Participating Manufacturers Act and the Directory Act, as the state believes that they are now cigarette manufacturers.

As a manufacturer, the companies would be required to make annual payments to the State under the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.

The suits also claim that the stores are allegedly selling pipe tobacco for use in the cigarette machines, which is another violation.

A special hearing will be held in the matter on Aug. 27 in Merrimack County Superior Court.

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