Brennan’s Smoke Shop Owner May Move Stores Out of State
Karen Brennan Fontana, the founder and owner of nine Brennan's Smoke Shops on the South Shore and New Bedford, says she's had it with tobacco regulations in Massachusetts.
Speaking with WBSM's Brian Thomas on Saturday, Fontana said she's thinking about moving her stores to New Hampshire. Fontana said she's followed all of the Bay State's rules and regulations for the past 27 years, but now she says, "I'm done."
The last straw for her, she said, was Governor Charlie Baker declaring a public health emergency in September and banning the sale of all vaping-related products without holding a public hearing.
Health organizations and physician groups have praised the governor's action, but some smoking-related businesses were forced to lay off employees or close their doors altogether because of the ban.
Fontana said her company offers full-service smoke shops and follows all the regulations, but she just can't seem to win in Massachusetts.
"I don't want to leave my customers high and dry, but I can't do this here anymore," said Fontana.