Welcome! Login | Register
 

10 Great Things to do in Worcester This Weekend - November 17, 2017—10 Great Things to do in Worcester This…

Worcester Man Arrested After Robbing Colony Farms Market With Knife—Worcester Man Arrested After Robbing Colony Farms Market…

Finneran: An American Soldier—Finneran: An American Soldier

Holy Cross Edges Harvard 73-69—Holy Cross Edges Harvard 73-69

Worcester Chamber Music Society to Host Christmas Concert—Worcester Chamber Music Society to Host Christmas Concert

Two Injured Following Car Crash in Worcester—Two Injured Following Car Crash in Worcester

MA Adds 4,800 Jobs in October, Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.7%—MA Adds 4,800 Jobs in October, Unemployment Rate…

Gilpin Named Superintendent & Colonel of MA State Police—Gilpin Named Superintendent & Colonel of MA State…

DUI Checkpoint in Worcester County This Weekend Nov. 18 & 19—DUI Checkpoint in Worcester County This Weekend Nov.…

Worcester Fire Department to Unveil New Rescue Vehicle—Worcester Fire Department to Unveil New Rescue Vehicle

 
 

Monfredo: City Council Adds Restrictions to its Tobacco Ordinance…Congratulations

Sunday, January 03, 2016

 

The City of Worcester recently joined 74 other members of the Massachusetts Municipal Association by passing an adoption of an amended ordinance concerning the distribution and use of tobacco products.  One issue that I’m thrilled about is the banning of electronic cigarette use in smoke free locations.

After gathering information given to me by Tina Grosowsky, Project Coordinator for the Central MA Tobacco Free Community Partnership at the University of Massachusetts Medical School I decided to put together information on the dangers associated with tobacco use and was delighted to hear that our City Council has taken appropriate action to reinforce its ordinance on tobacco use in our community.

Research shows that children who shop at stores with tobacco two or more times a week are 64% more likely to start smoking than their peers who don’t.  Thus, the more they’re exposed the more likely they are to smoke.

The tobacco industry continues to go after the children and uses three main tactics in its efforts to hook kids on tobacco products.  First there is the SWEET… the tobacco industry uses flavoring to attract young people by disguising the taste of tobacco in its newest products. Next, CHEAP, the tobacco industry prices these products cheaply to encourage impulse buys by adolescents.   Finally…EASY TO GET, these cheap tobacco products are easily available to young people in gas stations, some pharmacies, corner stores, grocery stores, mini-marts and many other types of retail stores throughout Massachusetts.

As a strong advocate of Wellness Education, I find it appalling that the tobacco industry preys on our children and endangers their future.  Adolescents’ brains are still developing and the nicotine  in tobacco products can produce structural and chemical changes in the developing brain and may lead to future alcohol and other drug addition, panic attacks, and depression.  

Thus, because of the way nicotine changes the adolescent brain, people who start smoking as adolescents smoke more and have a harder time quitting than people who start as adults.

One such tobacco product that many adolescence have tried are the electronic cigarettes, also called Vape Pens, E-Hookah pens or e-cigs.  They are battery operated devices that contain nicotine in liquid form.  The nicotine is turned into a vapor in the e-cigarette and then inhaled.  The vapor also contains many other chemicals such as heavy metals and antifreeze, but the exact content is unknown because e-cigarettes are not regulated by the FDA.  In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that current electronic cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014.   Needless to say, it’s a health hazard for our children.  

According to statistics among its adult population in Worcester 18 years and older, 18.1% are smokers and that is higher than the statewide average of 15%.  Thus, the mortality from lung cancer is 17% higher in our city than in the rest of Massachusetts.  The death rate of Worcester residents from tobacco on a per-capital basis is approximately 250 individuals annually, or five human lives lost per week.

The good news is that cigarette use among young people in Massachusetts is falling, but the tobacco industry has redoubled its effort and continues to target this population.  As concerned adults we need to continue to work on strengthening regulations to prevent youth access to tobacco products.

Thanks to our City Council they have just passed new tobacco regulations.  Some of the regulations include:

•    Banning smoking in city parks and entire hospital campuses, bus shelters, and water parks.

•    Expanding the regulatory scope to both the sale of tobacco and the sale of non-regulated nicotine delivery products ( i.e liquid nicotine including the electronic cigarette )

•    Expanding penalties and enforcement by increasing the fine for “no smoking” and “buffer zone” smoking violations from $25.00 to $100; establishes a flat $300 fine for violations of retail sales permits, sales to minors and other non-buffer zone violations; and providing for the suspension or revocation of tobacco sales permits and smoking bar permits

•    Regulating nicotine delivery products and electronic cigarettes the same as tobacco products.  Those are currently unregulated.

•    Requires additional signage in retail stores regarding smoke cessation programs

These changes as presented by City Manager Edward Augustus and approved by the City Council were modeled after the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Tobacco Cessation  Program and are intended to advance the Community Health Improvement Plan which has as a goal of making Worcester the healthiest city in New England.

Perhaps the one paragraph in the new ordinance said it all…” The city council of the City of Worcester, in recognition of the death and devastating effects of tobacco products on the residents of the city, is compelled to exercise the authority granted  under its city charter to protect and promote the public health and the authority…to regulate the sale of tobacco products.”

Let’s continue to work on making Worcester the healthiest city in New England.  Next stop, CPR training for all of our secondary students!

 

Related Slideshow: The 13 Retailers in Worcester Caught Selling Tobacco to Minors in 2015

Prev Next

Store: AL HANEEN HALAL MARKET

Address: 322 Pleasant Street 

Decision Type: Warning Letter Issued

Decision Date: 1/15/2015

Prev Next

Store: TEDESCHI FOOD SHOPS #52

Address: 104 Belmont Street

Decision Type: Civil Money Penalty

Decision Date: 1/21/2015

Prev Next

Store: JAY'S FOOD MART

Address: 66 Vernon Street 

Decision Type: Civil Penalty Issued

Decision Date: 1/27/2015

Prev Next

Store: THE BRATTLE STOP MARKET & DELI

Address: 1 Brattle Street 

Decision Type: Civil Money Penalty

Decision Date: 2/17/2015

Decistion Type: Civil Money Penalty

Decision Date: 8/29/2015

Prev Next

Store: MOBIL

Address: 10 Mill Street 

Decision Type: Warning Letter Issued

Decision Date: 3/06/2015

Prev Next

Store:  STOP N' SAVE CONVENIENCE

Address: 147 Highland Street

Decision Type: Warning Letter Issued

Decision Date: 3/26/2015

Prev Next

Store: XTRA MART

Address: 1099 Grafton Street 

Decision Type: Warning Letter Issued

Decision Date: 4/09/2015

Prev Next

Store: O'HARA'S WINES & LIQUORS

Address: 935 Grafton Street 

Decision Type: Warning Letter Issued

Decision Date: 4/09/2015

Prev Next

Store: HONEY FARMS

Address: 353 Grafton Street

Decision Type: Warning Letter Issued

Decision Date: 4/09/2015

Prev Next

Store: STATE LIQUOR EXCHANGE

Address: 370 Park Avenue

Decision Type: Warning Letter Issued

Decision Date: 5/14/2015

Prev Next

Store: GEORGE FLOYD MINI-MART

Address: 687 Millbury Street 

Decision Type: Warning Letter Issued (Not yet available)

Decision Date: 6/18/2015

Prev Next

Store: 7-ELEVEN

Address: 2 Blackstone River Road

Decision Type: Warning Letter Issued (Not yet available)

Decision Date: 6/18/2015

Prev Next

Store: EDGEMERE MINI-MART

Address: 288 Mill Street 

Decision Type: Civil Money Penalty (Not yet available)

Decision Date: 7/21/2015

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox