The citizens of Cohasset, MA voted Monday to reject a proposal from their board of health that included prohibiting retail stores with pharmacies from selling electronic cigarettes and a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes in public places where traditional cigarettes are prohibited.
The proposal also recommended prohibiting stores with pharmacies from selling traditional tobacco products, so it is unclear to which ban the public was most opposed. It could be that the ban on pharmacy tobacco sales failed due to the proposal's inclusion of the public use ban of e-cigarettes, which have been gaining popularity with smokers and unprecedented social acceptance by the general public as a very effective, low-risk alternative to smoking.
Unfortunately for Cohasset e-cigarette consumers, according to Cohasset health inspector Tara Tradd, regardless of what is decided at town meeting, the town health board has the power to impose certain health policies. Hopefully, the Cohasset board of health will come to the conclusion that its citizens seem to have already - that communities should be encouraging smokers to switch to these reduced harm products, rather than removing a strong incentive that inspires many smokers to quit.