State Appeals Tobacco Delivery Decision

July 22, 2005

Attorney General Steve Rowe announced today that he has appealed a May 27 federal court decision that invalidated a significant portion of the state law aimed at preventing youth access to tobacco from Internet and mail-order sales. The 2003 law requires tobacco retailers to be licensed by the State in order to have tobacco delivered to Mainers. It also prohibits delivery services like UPS from shipping tobacco products from unlicensed sellers to Mainers and requires them to check the identification and age of Mainers to whom tobacco is delivered.

The decision being appealed is available at

In the decision, U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby determined that, "If there is to be regulation in this area, it will have to come from the federal government."

Attorney General Rowe said today, "We believe that the states have well-established powers to adopt laws that keep youth from smoking. While we would welcome a federal law that accomplished the same goals as the Maine law, we do not believe that the people of Maine should have to wait for Congress to muster the courage to enact similar legislation."