Boston Neighborhood Against Substance Abuse (EBNASA) Praises
Bostonís New Tobacco Policies
Community Supports Restrictions on Sales to
(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
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