CS Monitor: Brad Gerstman – Can Cig Ban Succeed Where Soda Ban Failed?


His soda ban overturned by a judge one day before it was set to go into effect, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is looking to smoke out another public health concern: tobacco.

The mayor wants to ban the public display of tobacco products in stores, which would make it the first such law of its kind in the country if passed.

Opponents, including the Retail Council of New York State and the New York Association of Grocery Stores, have already vowed to fight the ban, which they call an overreach. The result could be that any potential tobacco ban might face challenges from the industry similar to those encountered by the soda ban, legal experts say….

…Should Bloomberg’s proposed ban be challenged in court, it could reignite the broader debate over the constitutionality of regulating the tobacco industry.

Retailers are vowing to fight the proposal.

“Both unnecessary and unconstitutional, the Mayor’s attempts at heightened regulation will only victimize honest, hard working Americans,” Bradley Gerstman, counsel to the New York Association of Grocery Stores said in a statement. “We must protect small businesses here in New York from being trampled by the irresponsible decisions of government.”

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