House OKs bill to ban cigarette vending machines

April 02, 1999|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The House of Delegates approved a bill yesterday that would ban coin-operated cigarette vending machines from most businesses.

The Senate has passed a different version of the legislation, making it likely that the bill will go to a conference committee.

The 82-49 vote in the House occurred despite Baltimore County Democratic Del. Joseph J. "Sonny" Minnick's complaint that the measure was "another little nail in the coffin of the small-business man."

The bill would exempt fraternal and veterans groups. Other businesses could keep their machines if they were converted to accept tokens, not coins, by Oct. 1.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Dan K. Morhaim, a Baltimore County Democrat, is designed to prevent minors from buying cigarettes.

Some of the House provisions could face tough opposition in the Senate, where similar legislation died on the final day of last year's session.

Pub Date: 4/02/99

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