The “Live Free or Die” state has one less option for those looking to hasten the die part of that motto.

Hannaford supermarkets has announced they will be phasing out tobacco sales across their chain of grocery stores. This is sad news for Granite State smokers that want to pick up 20 cigarettes to go with their six beers, twelves eggs, ten hot dogs, and eight hot dog buns.

Folks will doubtlessly decry Hannaford for virtue signaling, phasing out tobacco while continuing sales of alcohol, fatty foods, and other potentially harmful items. They may have a point but it does not seem that Hannaford is attempting to police every aspect of human behavior, rather they are making a calculated business decision about what products to devote valuable retail space.

The reflexive response from many is that an adult’s choice to smoke is their own business and how dare Hannaford or anyone else tell them how to live. The current face mask debate is an interesting parallel with many declaring it their freedom not to wear a mask. Here it is a case of all parties being right. Just as you have the right to smoke or not wear a face mask, retail establishments have the right to stock whatever products they wish and to not serve unmasked customers if that is their choice.

The great thing about capitalism is that the market will decide whether these are the right decisions. Customers are free to shop at establishments with different product selections and different rules.

In the case of Hannaford and tobacco their customers will decide. We are confident that they will be just fine and a lot of New Hampshire lungs will breathe easier for the change.

Sunday, August 02, 2020
Friday, July 31, 2020
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Mark Hayward’s City Matters column on Monday told of a push by some in the university mathematics community “to boycott working with police departments.” Some of these mathematicians had helped develop computer systems used by police departments.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

With much of the nation still in flames from the COVID-19 pandemic, now is not the time to end the emergency power Gov. Chris Sununu invoked last spring. He has used it wisely and adroitly, in stark contrast to the federal government, which through incompetence and inattention has contribute…

Friday, July 24, 2020

It’s clear that more than a few Exeter residents, as well as other lovers of history, don’t like a plan that would remove the celebrated Ioka Theatre sign from the side of the building. Indeed, the town Historic District Commission has voted, 3 to 2, to prohibit the new owners from so doing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

It isn’t surprising that a state survey shows an overwhelming majority of parents and teachers want a return to classroom education if that is possible in September. Making that possible must be a top priority for all involved.

Sunday, July 19, 2020
Friday, July 17, 2020

We take most surveys with a grain of salt. The firm WalletHub seems to churn them out by the bushel. A recent one didn’t include New Hampshire, for instance, as among the most “independent” of states. We ranked 16th, although the survey acknowledged our lowest-in-the-nation poverty rate.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020

Civics education being what it is these days, we are not at all sure if many public school students know that New Hampshire was one of America’s original 13 colonies. No matter. The way things are progressing, the very term “colony” may soon be expunged from whatever history books remain extant.