Connecticut Judge strikes down town's ban on cigarette vending machines
A judge on Wednesday struck down a municipal ban on cigarette vending machines, saying the town of Orange had gone too far in its attempt to snuff out underage smoking within its borders.
The case was being closely watched by the tobacco industry and cities and towns across the country. The Orange town council voted last year to ban the machines in an attempt to prevent illegal cigarette sales to minors. Since then, the city council of Bridgeport has followed suit, and other towns have debated the issue.
A vending machine distributor, Modern Cigarettes Inc. of New Haven, filed a lawsuit against Orange, claiming the ban was an illegal restriction on free trade.
Superior Court Judge Jonathan E. Silbert sided with the vending company, ruling that the town's statute contradicted a state law that had already put significant restrictions on the use of the machines.