New rules sought for tobacco
Pharmacies and health institutions would be prohibited from selling tobacco products under proposed board of health changes to the town’s health regulations, and people would be prohibited from smoking at town playgrounds, beaches, swimming areas and recreation fields, according to Weymouth Director of Public Health Daniel McCormack.
McCormack said Town Solicitor George Lane is reviewing the legalities of the proposed changes.
“They will establish a 25-foot buffer zone around municipal buildings,” he said. “People will not be able to smoke within 25 feet of an entrance to a town building. Smoking will also be prohibited in public transportation waiting areas like taxi stands.”
The proposed regulations would also prohibit businesses with tobacco licenses from selling electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, and blunt wraps to buyers under age 18.
“The sale of electronic cigarettes would be regulated like the sale of regular cigarettes,” McCormack said.
E-cigarettes allow a user to inhale nicotine vapors through a smokeless mouthpiece that is operated by a battery or electronic circuits, according to the health department. A blunt wrap is a hollow tube that can be filled with tobacco and smoked.
McCormack said the proposed regulations would allow only 70 tobacco licenses to be issued by the health department to Weymouth businesses that sell tobacco products of any kind.
“Tobacco sales would be banned in health institutions and that includes pharmacies,” he said. “Pharmacies fall under that definition.”
McCormack said eight pharmacies sell tobacco in Weymouth.
“The sale of tobacco would also be banned in any education institution that would seek to open in Weymouth,” he said. “These are big changes on the smoking regulations.”
McCormack said a public hearing would be held at a future date by the board to discuss the proposed regulations if Lane gives a favorable legal review.
More information in this report is available in the April 9 edition of the Weymouth News.