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Easthampton to Restrict Sale of Certain Tobacco Items

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EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) — More and more communities are cracking down on tobacco use and sales.

The City of Easthampton is the latest western Massachusetts community to restrict tobacco sale of certain items.

Effective on Saturday, March 1, the sale of single cigars like these costing less than $2.50 will be prohibited in Easthampton.

Stores will also be prohibited from selling blunt wrappers. In addition, stores won’t be able to use roll-your-own machines.

Board of Health Director Jackie Duda says the move was made because those single cigars are often flavored, cost less than a dollar, and appeal to young people.

“We revised the recent regulations, to try to control some of the very tasty, candy flavored, very cheap cigars that are being marketed by manufacturers for children to try and get the children to use tobacco and then become addicted to it,” Duda explains.

But some in town, like Avrey Lavallee, don’t like the new regulation.

“I think it’s our right as Americans to buy legal products in the United States when we see fit,” Lavallee says.

Many convenience store owners opposed the new tobacco restrictions.

Opponents of the new regulations say those stores will feel the economic impact.

“I’ll go to another town, and usually when i buy those products, I buy other products and now those products will be bought in another town as well,” Lavallee says.

Duda adds, “Our job here isn’t to affect negatively any businesses, but again, we would ask the public to please join in our community-wide effort to try to stem the tide of tobacco use among teens.”

The new restrictions also ban the use of tobacco or nicotine delivery products like electronic cigarettes in public parks without the permisisioon of the Parks and Recreation Department in Easthampton.

Meanwhile, because pharmacies are associated with health care and health products, they will be added to the list of businesses that can not sell tobacco.

WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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