Question about denying an 18 year old cigarettes

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thriller1122

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Question about denying an 18 year old cigarettes

Postby thriller1122 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:39 am

Real-life situation:

Maryland passed a law that increases the age to buy cigarettes to 21. It takes effect tomorrow (October 1). I had no idea that this law was being passed (tbh, I don't care because I am in my thirties). The only reason I now know is because I noticed the little electronic sign at a 7/11 this morning had the date for "you must have been born on or before" set to 21 years ago. I asked about it and the clerk told me about the new law.

I was telling a buddy in passing about it and he jokingly asked "could someone sue that 7/11 for refusing to sell them cigarettes before the law goes into effect?" Not that I care, but I thought it was an interesting legal question.

Maryland's anti-discrimination law prohibits places of public accommodation from discriminating against customers based on age. Obviously, the State can set the age for buying a pack of smokes and 7/11 needs to follow it. But as of today, that law says 18.

Question: does a 7/11 that refuses to sell a pack of cigarettes to and 18 year old (an otherwise legal transaction) because they are 18 violate Maryland's anti-discrimination act?

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cavalier1138

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Re: Question about denying an 18 year old cigarettes

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:46 pm

thriller1122 wrote:Question: does a 7/11 that refuses to sell a pack of cigarettes to and 18 year old (an otherwise legal transaction) because they are 18 violate Maryland's anti-discrimination act?


It depends.

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thriller1122

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Re: Question about denying an 18 year old cigarettes

Postby thriller1122 » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:15 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
thriller1122 wrote:Question: does a 7/11 that refuses to sell a pack of cigarettes to and 18 year old (an otherwise legal transaction) because they are 18 violate Maryland's anti-discrimination act?


It depends.


Thats where I landed too

QContinuum

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Re: Question about denying an 18 year old cigarettes

Postby QContinuum » Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:32 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
thriller1122 wrote:Question: does a 7/11 that refuses to sell a pack of cigarettes to and 18 year old (an otherwise legal transaction) because they are 18 violate Maryland's anti-discrimination act?


It depends.

You'd want to look at what the anti-discrimination act actually says (e.g., does the 7/11 qualify as a "place of public accommodation"?), and look at caselaw interpreting the act (e.g., does the ban on age discrimination only apply to discrimination against the elderly? clearly there are some situations where discrimination against youth has been upheld, e.g., as far as I know in Maryland, rental car companies refuse to rent to those under 21, and charge a premium to 22-24 year olds - is it simply a case of no one having sued?).



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