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JAMA 100 Years Ago
August 9, 2000

Power to Regulate Sale of Cigarettes.The Right of Property in Medical Records.To What Dying Declarations Must Relate.

Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant.

JAMA. 2000;284(6):670. doi:10.1001/jama.284.6.670

Whether dealing in and selling cigarettes is that kind of a business which ought to be licensed is, considering the character of the article sold, the Supreme Court of the United States holds, in the case of Gunderling vs. the City of Chicago, a question for the state, and through it, for the city, to determine for itself. An ordinance providing reasonable conditions upon the performance of which a license may be granted to sell such article, it declared, does not violate any provision of the federal constitution. Nor does it consider it a valid objection to an ordinance that it partakes of both the character of a regulation and also that of an exercise or privilege tax. So long as the state law authorizes both regulations and taxation, it says it is enough. The ordinance in question, which has obtained the sanction of this court, as well as previously of the Supreme Court of Illinois, in this same case, provides for the issuance of licenses by the mayor, upon application first made to the commissioner of health, and submitted to the latter, with his opinion as to the propriety of granting such license, accompanied by the evidence furnished by the applicant of good character and reputation, and upon the mayor himself being satisfied that the applicant is of good character and reputation and a suitable person to be intrusted with the sale of cigarettes, or that this is true of the person or persons in charge of its business, if the applicant be a corporation. It also requires a bond for $500 to be given, conditioned upon the observance of all state laws and city ordinances in force or that may be passed with reference to the sale of cigarettes, and imposes a license fee of $100 a year. But nothing contained in the ordinance, it expressly provides, shall be held to authorize the sale of cigarettes containing opium, morphin, jimson weed, belladonna, glycerin, or sugar. And having or exposing for sale, or offering to sell any cigarettes at any place within the city, without having first procured the license provided is made punishable by fine.