WESTMINSTER, Mass. — The Westminster, Mass., Board of Health is proposing to ban the sale of all tobacco products and electronic nicotine delivering devices including electronic cigarettes, reported the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO).
A hearing before the Westminster Board of Health on the proposed tobacco sales ban is scheduled for November 12, 2014.
In summary, the draft regulation cites the following medical and legal authorities in support of the ban:
•Health, disease and addiction concerns relating to the effects of tobacco.
•The “normalization” of smoking behavior through the use of e-cigarettes, as well as the possibility of “dual use” of cigarettes and e-cigarettes rather than cessation.
•Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that the “right to engage in business must yield to the paramount right of government to protect the public health by any rational means.”
•The ability of underage people to access tobacco products despite state laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors.
•Warning labels on e-cigarettes that concede health issues and that they are not intended to be cessation devices.
•Lab analysis conducted by the FDA showing that e-cigarette “cartridges that were labeled as containing no nicotine actually had low levels of nicotine present.”
If the regulation passes, “all tobacco sales permits and/or nicotine delivery product sales permits shall expire” on the designated date. “No new permits or renewal of existing permits shall occur after this date.”
It also bans tobacco vending machines and states that “no person shall distribute, or cause to be distributed, any free samples of tobacco products.”
Fines include $300 for the first violation; $300 and suspension of board of health-issued permits for seven days for the second violation within 24 months; $300 and suspension of board of health-issued permits for 30n days for three or more violations within 24 months; revocation of board of health-issued permits for further violations.
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Published in CSP Daily News