In November 2020, voters in Brookline, Mass. approved a change to the town’s law that would prohibit anyone born after Jan. 1, 2000 from purchasing tobacco products and e-cigarettes, effectively creating what was dubbed a tobacco-free generation.

The following year, as the law went into effect, the town was sued by a group of owners of gas stations and convenience stores who argued that the town’s law preempted state law and that the Brookline Select Board was warned that its new law would likely not survive a legal challenge. They also argued that by enacting the law, the town had created two classes of people, one allowed to purchase tobacco products and one not allowed to do so, and by doing to, the town violated the state’s equal protection clause.

Now, the case has been ruled on by the Massachusetts Superior Court, which on Oct. 17 granted the town’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to block the bylaw.

“The dismissal of this challenge is a positive outcome, validating decades of tobacco control work in local government to reduce access to tobacco and nicotine products and prevent disease for future generations,”said Public Health Commissioner Sigalle Reiss. “Brookline has laid the path that other communities may now follow as they seek to keep harmful tobacco products out of the hands of generations to come, and I want to thank all at the Public Health Advocacy Institute whose tireless efforts made this moment possible.”

A press release issued by the town indicates that the plaintiffs have appealed the ruling.

Brookline is located directly to the southwest of Boston and is home to approximately 60,000 residents.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.