The final days of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary are upon us as the candidates for our nation’s highest office descend into the Granite State on red-eye flights from Iowa. Fortunately for small businesses who benefit from the New Hampshire Advantage, as well as lovers of our “live-free-or-die” ethos, Republican candidates and Democratic candidate Rep. Dean Phillips have made a significant commitment to freedom by opposing onerous federal regulations from the Biden administration.

These efforts by President Joe Biden’s administration have ranged from restricting the use of gas stoves to the amount of beer one can consume and now even targeting menthol cigarettes.

As Granite Staters, we already know policies that ban menthol cigarettes don’t work. Our neighbor in Massachusetts has tried this, and instead of curbing menthol cigarette use, adults just purchase them across state lines or via the illicit market. Many of them come here to New Hampshire to buy them instead, which produces revenue for our public schools, first responders, and infrastructure. The New Hampshire Advantage is only possible because we believe that individuals make better choices than the government and that policies of government overreach are unfair to law-abiding adults and punish small businesses.

That’s why the New England Convenience Store and Marketers Association (NECSEMA) has stood up and vocally opposed this ban. Over the past few months, hundreds of our members have proudly placed signs in front of their stores with a clear and simple message: Stop the Bans, Keep New Hampshire Free.

At a time when there are wars on multiple continents, inflation continues to put the American dream out of reach for millions, and we have an open southern border – President Biden and his administration have instead prioritized banning menthol cigarettes.

Experts have said that a ban on menthol cigarettes will just create another illicit market and would drive money into the hands of drug cartels. These are the same cartels that are already profiting off of the death of millions of Americans who have died of fentanyl and opioid overdoses.

Law enforcement has also said this would strain resources meant to address combatting the deadly drug trafficking trade. Instead of spending time and effort going after deadly drugs, police on the street would be tasked with going after individual cigarette smokers.

Does any of this make sense?

That’s why NECSEMA is looking forward to cosponsoring an event on Wednesday with WFEA and NHJournal to focus on the issues of small business owners and retailers. We will be joined by political leaders, small business owners, and concerned freedom-loving citizens who want to ensure that Live Free or Die is more than a slogan on a license plate but are the values that our next president takes with them to the White House.

Residents can join us on-site at Candia First Stoppe or can tune into WFEA.

Together, we can stop the Biden bans and keep New Hampshire – and America – free.