Eastham considers tweaks to town's tobacco regulations

Board of Health workshop planned for May 7

The Eastham Board of Health is considering some tweaks to the town's current tobacco regulations. Eastham tobacco permit holders are invited to a workshop on Thursday, May 7 at 9 a.m. at Eastham Town Hall to discuss the proposed changes. Cigarettes are sold at the town's markets, mini-marts and gas station convenience stores. 

Several changes are proposed regarding the definition of tobacco products, the availability of tobacco products from self-serve displays and the proximity of the sale of tobacco to schools. Under proposed regulations, the definition of tobacco would also include such products as e-cigarettes. Tobacco would not be available via self-service displays and vending machines would be banned. 

Three of the proposed changes pertain to youth. Tobacco would not be sold within 500 feet of a school or in educational institutions. The minimum legal sales age to purchase tobacco would be raised from 18 to 21. More than a dozen Massachusetts municipalities have raised the minimum age for tobacco sales to 21 (19 in some towns/cities).

Smoking would be banned in town-owned parks, playgrounds, athletic fields and beaches. A smoking ban was put in effect at Cape Cod National Seashore Beaches in June 2014. A 25 foot no smoking buffer zone would be established around municipal buildings.

Last month, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey proposed regulations to limit the sale of e-cigarettes. Those statewide regulations if accepted, would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors under 18, prevent sampling and free giveaways and the availability of e-cigarette products via self-serve displays.

During the May 7 workshop at town hall, Eastham permit holders will be allowed to ask questions and give their input.

Questions or written comments may be submitted to Eastham Health Agent Jane Crowley at [email protected] A public hearing will be held prior to any formal changes being made to the town's regulations. See the town's current tobacco regulations here.

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