One More Time:Board of Health Commissioners Want Another Hearing Before Raising Tobacco Purchase Age

By Sue Ellen Woodcock

The members of the Revere Board of Health said they need one more meeting before deciding to raise the age of consent for the purchase of tobacco to age 21.

Last Wednesday the Board of Health held a second public hearing on the issue and a list of other changes regarding smoking and flavored tobacco products. A few convenience store owners, members of the area tobacco control department and Revere CARES. The date of the next meeting has not yet been set.

“Everyone acknowledges a problem. We don’t want it to be a youth or an adult thing. We have to make a decision,” said Board of Health Chairman Dr. Eric Weil.

One store owner brought in a sampling of products that can be sold  with a tobacco license: a hookah, glass pipes, a bong with a gas mask, a soda can that one is able to hide smoking materials in for vaping and more.

“Given all this a tobacco license should allow for the sale of flavored tobacco,” said Joe Prezio of Joe’s Market.

Two young girls who attended the meeting and wanted to show how bad smoking is in Revere, presented the board with a jar of 1,000 cigarette butts collected around the MGH property at 300 Ocean Avenue.

“We’re responsible to look at this as a whole and look at each point,” said Board of Health member Kim Hanton.

A large part of the discussion had nothing to do with the purchase of regular cigarettes and how bad they are for you health. Much of the discussion was around flavored products that also have nicotine in thither, including blunt wraps, which are pressed tobacco flavored wrappers and used for rolling large marijuana cigarettes.

DJ Wilson of the Tobacco Control Board, said blunt wraps contain nicotine and person could become addicted to nicotine while smoking marijuana.

Other items under consideration include:

  • Requirement of quit smoking signs.
  • Adoption of minimum cigar package size and pricing.
  • No permit renewal if there were three sales to minors.
  • Place a cap on or reduce the number of permits.
  • No new retailers within 500 feet of a school
  • Restrict flavored tobacco sales in other than adult only retail tobacco stores,
  • Raise the age if minimum legal sales in the than adult-only retail tobacco stores.
  • Ban the sale of blunt wraps.
  • Ban non-residential roll your own machines.
  • Ban tobacco and nicotine delivery products in educational institutions.
  • Raise the fine structure to $300 for first offense and a seven-day suspension of permit for the second offense, and $300 and a 30 day suspension for the third offense.

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