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East Boston Neighborhood Against Substance Abuse (EBNASA) Praises Bostonís New Tobacco Policies

Community Supports Restrictions on Sales to Minors

(Boston) December 2, 2011Ö New tobacco policies passed by the Boston Public Health Commissionís Board of Health on Thursday December 1st take important steps to expand restrictions on minors accessing tobacco and nicotine delivery products. East Boston Neighborhood Against Substance Abuse (EBNASA), part of the Boston Alliance for Community Health (BACH), played an active role in conveying community support. BACH collectively submitted over 400 signatures in support of these policy changes.

EBNASA is pleased to have worked with and supported the Board of Health, BACH, and the Public Health Commission with the passage of these new regulations in response to this public health concern.

Since 90% of adult smokers start using tobacco before their 18th birthday, policies that make it more difficult for youth to acquire tobacco and nicotine products are important. Existing regulations allow for youth of any age to purchase electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), which contain even more nicotine than a normal cigarette.

The new Boston regulation will restrict the sale of electronic cigarettes to those 18 and over, and require a permit to sell the product. Additionally, Bostonís new tobacco control policies prohibit the sale of loose mini cigars or cigarillos, requiring them to be sold minimally in a package of five. Affordability plays a significant role in youth consumption of tobacco products. Prior to this regulation, mini-cigars have been available in Boston for as little as $0.50 each, making them an inexpensive alternative to cigarettes.

Additionally, the Board of Health approved a proposal to treat e-cigarettes like tobacco products, including requiring retail establishments to obtain a permit to sell them, prohibiting their use in the workplace, and restricting their sale to adults only. The e-cigarette restrictions will take effect immediately; the new cigar packaging regulation goes into effect in 60 days after the December 1st vote, on January 31, 2012.

EBNASA has been working in East Boston with residents and partners to distribute information on helping smokers quit smoking. A two week supply of free nicotine patches is available to Boston residents who call the 1-800-Quitline. In addition to tobacco, the coalition works on broad public health issues and welcomes new members. Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month at 155 Addison St. For more information on the coalition or other substance use issues, please visit our web site at www.ebnasa.org.

Posted December 2, 2011


 

 

 

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