Tobacco Control Legal Consortium: Legal Update, Fall 2008
The latest issue of the Legal Update, the newsletter of the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, is now available. This issue highlights the recent important Supreme Court “light” cigarette ruling, Altria Group, Inc. v. Good, upholding the ability of smokers to sue tobacco manufacturers for deceptive health claims. Also featured are the proceedings of a legal symposium on the merits of outdoor smoking restrictions and employment policies designed to discourage smoking, along with updates on the recent Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; the appeal of the federal government’s racketeering lawsuit against tobacco manufacturers; and California litigation involving tobacco-free drug stores. Click here to read the Legal Update.
Electronic Clearing House, Inc. agrees to stop enabling online tobacco sales
In a settlement with the Attorneys General of Idaho, New York, and California, the Electronic Clearing House, Inc. (ECHO), a payment processor for online transactions, has agreed to stop facilitating illegal cigarette sales. Because internet tobacco sales are a major source of tobacco for underage youths, this is an important step in preventing youth smoking. Click here for more information.
Businesses and smokers challenge cigar law in court (MD)
Last November, Prince George’s County was the first jurisdiction in the US to pass legislation that classified certain types of cigars as drug paraphernalia and banned their sale except in packages of five or more. Opponents of this new legislation have filed a suit against the county claiming that the ban oversteps legal authority. They argue that tobacco laws should be passed by the state instead of individual counties. Click here for more information.
Court ruling on cigarette taxes favors Cayuga Indian Nation (NY)
A state appellate court on Wednesday ruled the Cayuga Indian Nation cannot be criminally charged for not paying cigarette taxes at its Finger Lakes stores. The decision sets up the possibility for the Cayugas to reopen their LakeSide Trading gas stations and stores in Union Springs and town of Seneca Falls and regain the possession of the 17,600 cartons of unstamped cigarettes that were seized by both counties in a Nov. 25 raid. The Cayugas requested the preliminary injunction after state Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Fisher ruled Dec. 9 that the nation does not have sovereign rights to sell tax-free cigarettes at its stores. To read more about this ruling, click here.
Tobacco case set to resume Monday (VT)
The case brought on by the state of Vermont on behalf of 36 states against RJ Reynolds Co. will resume after a 2 month hiatus. The case charges that Reynolds misled consumers about the health risks of a new cigarette, Eclipse, which heats rather than burns tobacco. The company was marketing this new product as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes despite a lack of scientific evidence. The states are not seeking financial damages and are fighting to issue an injunction that will stop the Eclipse advertising campaign. Click here for more information.
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