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HAVERSTRAW, N.Y. -- The village of Haverstraw, N.Y., will drop a local law that was to ban the display of tobacco products at retail locations, according to a Journal News report. Last night at a special meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a settlement with a group of retailers and manufacturers that filed a lawsuit challenging the ban, which was passed in April 2012 and would have gone into effect this October. The lawsuit claimed the ban violated the First Amendment right to free speech.
Under the terms of the settlement, the group of plaintiffs, which includes the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS), Lorillard Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co., American Snuff Co. LLC, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Brands Inc., and John Middleton Co., agreed to drop the lawsuit if Haverstraw repeals the law.
The Board of Trustees scheduled a public hearing to discuss a new law to repeal the ban for Aug. 13.
If the law had gone into effect, local retailers would have provided customers with a printed tobacco menu. NYACS President Jim Calvin previously labeled the law "breathtakingly absurd."