As we reported yesterday, the first city in the state of California that raised its tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21 was under threat of a lawsuit due to its violation of state law in raising the tobacco age. Today, Healdsburg, CA has suspended that law.
The litigation threatened by NATO (National Association of Tobacco Outlets) on behalf of the local retailers has forced the city to back down from selling tobacco to those under 21. Retailers on Monday were hand-delivered notices by the city’s code enforcement officer telling them they may resume selling tobacco based on state laws which are 18 and over.
Santa Clara County, Berkeley as well as other cities and towns in the state have also received letters threatening a lawsuit from NATO and are now considering to follow the lead of Healdsburg in suspending the ordinances.