Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Canton board may ban electronic cigarettes

The Patriot Ledger
Jessica Trufant
August 12, 2013

Canton, MA —
Canton could become the first community in the country to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes.
Some towns and cities regulate electronic cigarettes, but the Canton Board of Health will consider banning the sale of e-cigarettes when it meets at 7 tonight at town hall.
The board will also consider raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco to 21.

Members of the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association, a volunteer group that fights legislation regulating electronic cigarettes around the country, has been a vocal opponent of the Canton proposal.

Greg Conley, legislative director for the group, said a Massachusetts-based member plans to attend the hearing on Monday.

"Our stance is that smoke-free alternatives should never be less available than tobacco that is smoked," Conley said. "We think (electronic cigarettes) should be held to less standards (than tobacco products) and certainly shouldn't have higher standards."

In January, officials in West Springfield briefly contemplated banning e-cigarettes, but an ordinance was not even drafted, Conley said.

"We heard it was under consideration (in West Springfield), so we submitted testimony and (officials) backed away," he said.
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