For Immediate Release
July 20, 2010
Assistant Attorney General David A. Rienzo
Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney announced today that the State of New Hampshire has brought suit in Merrimack County Superior Court against two tobacco retailers to enforce RSA 541-C, the Non-Participating Manufacturers (NPM) Act and RSA 541-D, the Directory Act.
The retailers, East-West Distributors d/b/a Smoke N Discounts of Epsom, New Hampshire, and Tobacco Depot of Seabrook, New Hampshire, have recently installed cigarette-making machines that are capable of making a carton of cigarettes in approximately eight minutes. The retailers are selling all the materials needed to make cigarettes and providing access to the machines to their customers. The State claims that the stores are therefore cigarette manufacturers and must comply with the NPM Act and the Directory Act.
The lawsuits also state that the retailers are selling tobacco intended to be smoked in a pipe for use in the cigarette machines. The lawsuit highlights a recent Merrimack County Superior Court ruling in the case of State v. North of the Border, LLC where the court ruled that a retailer who is engaged in the commercial manufacturing of cigarettes using pipe tobacco is a cigarette manufacturer. A temporary hearing has been set for August 27, 2010 in Merrimack County Superior Court.
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