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Proposal Restricting the Sale of Tobacco Products in Springfield Health Care Institutions


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — A proposal by the Springfield Public Health Council calls for banning the sale of tobacco at health care institutions.

Drug stores and pharmacies are considered health care institutions.   If passed it will prevent tobacco products from being sold at any CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Walmart, Stop & Shop or Big Y with a pharmacy.

“The goal is to protect the health of minors to protect the health of adults.  If you are gonna sell products that heal you wanna make sure that there is no dual message around products that might do harm to the health of the public,” said Helen Caulton-Harris, Director Springfield Health and Human Services.

The proposal is only in draft form.  It includes a $300 fine per violation.  The Public Health Council will be discussing the proposal further at their next meeting in March.  If it gets passed it could take effect within 60 days of being accepted by the Public Health Council.

According to Caulton-Harris the council is also waiting to hear back from the City Solicitor to see if the proposal needs to go before the City Council.

Wednesday night, The Health Council held a hearing on the proposal.  Several people spoke in favor of the tobacco ban.   A written statement was also submitted by a citizen and the Massachusetts Food Association.

The MFA statement read in part:

“This regulation as proposed merely blocks legal trade of a legal product from a tiny proportion of all retail outlets that sell these products and will only force consumers who wish to continue to purchase them to merely take their business elsewhere,” said Brian Houghton, Mass. Food Association.

Written statements can still be submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services at: 95 State Street, Springfield, MA.


  • Linda

    I am so tired of government and government like organizations telling us what we can and cannot do. I don’t smoke. Are you trying to put more business out of business?

  • mel

    “The goal is to protect the health of minors to protect the health of adults. If you are gonna sell products that heal you wanna make sure that there is no dual message around products that might do harm to the health of the public,” said Helen Caulton-Harris, Director Springfield Health and Human Services.

    As stated in the artical the issuse is sending a dual message, there are already to many dual messages out there that are a lot worst then this. Lets start with a bigger issue like gas stations selling beer and wine; dual message to promote drink and drive. This will cover health and safety in the community.

  • Jeff

    THe government or any city counsel does not have the right to tell any business what they can sell or can’t sell if it is regulated by the government. If the Springfield city counsel proposes something like this it is just another way to discriminate against smokers. What’s next candy if bad for you as well, they going to stop selling that as well?
    This city really needs to focus on other things. This smoking stuff is discrimination against a certain group of people and it is wrong!

  • Linda

    People…mind your business….oops I mean pay this much attention to what your children are doing and how they are growing up. Talk about a bulley type situation. These places you speak about are not drug stores nor are the medical facilities. I receive no health care from them. They are grocery stores and 5 and dimes with a secure pharmacy inside. My God…if you spent this much time on your kids….I wouldn’t be afraid to walk down Main Street.

  • momma

    Well on one hand it bugs me that we are being told what we can or cant purchase and where we can or cant purchase it. It really pisses me off that a lot of people get state aid to pay for their medications for a lot of preventable conditions, then they go to the next register to buy cigarettes,cigars,or tabacco products of some sort and other items equally bad for them. I have no problem with them doing what they want my problem is having to pay for the results of their poor choices.

  • AR

    This could be one of the dumbest things I have ever heard. If cigarettes are so bad ban them completely, Oh I forgot the state couldn ‘ t survive without the tax money, so kill yourself, just not at a CVS. Really ? This is somebodys job to think of this nonsense ?

  • neversmokedever

    Smokers feel that they are being discriminated against, wants their smoking habit to be left alone, prefers to divert their own problem by hopefully steering other people towards another focus of interest elsewhere but away from them, and worried about the tobacco marketing industry going out of business. It is almost like playing a game of football (but not quite exactly that way), where the other players protects the head quarterback or leader until he reaches that goal line. Obviously, the smokers trying to direct other people to work on a different problem other than their own. Their goal or success is to keep their smoking habits alive and tobacco sales still steadily thriving, while other problems elsewhere are undergoing in gradual prospering transistions or somehow achieve in resolving the matter.

    We all know that we need to change the way we eat our food, watch our weight, diminish food portions, avoid sodium, sweet, & fatty foods, exercise regularly, etc. Our Government has completely changed our diet. There is no texting, phoning, and/or any handheld devices while driving, it has been banned. Our Government has also helped people changed their bad driving habits. And so it is high time for the smokers to do the same too. Our Government should step up and changed the laws for the smokers. Some smokers will not do it for themselves or they are having a hard time doing it, they need some outside help or some intervention group to assist them with their problem. If our Government bans all tobacco products everywhere in the U.S., the smokers should know that it is made illegal and that they would have to eventually give it up. It should work and it will.

  • neversmokedever

    There should be tobacco banning everywhere in the U.S. That means not for only certain public places here and there, or for some States while not for others, but for everywhere, including in people’s home and outside in the open air. The smokers need to receive that message everywhere, they need to obey the law, and they need to know the illegal use of tobacco is everywhere.

  • neversmokedever

    The Springfield Public Health Council, the Massachusetts Food Association, and the Department of Health and Human Services are all doing an excellent job of banning the sale of tobacco at all health care institutions in Springfield, MA. It will sure limit some of the tobacco marketing off the major store shelves. It is most certainly the right step into a healthy direction. I do hope this new proposal goes through soon.