The Canton Board of Health has put off until October a vote on whether to put further restrictions on tobacco sales in the town.
The board held a hearing, attended by about 25 people, regarding new regulations that would limit the number of tobacco sales permits in town. The regulations would also prohibit all flavored tobacco product sales, excluding menthol, except in stores where patrons must be 21 or older to enter.
The sale of smokeless tobacco and food and beverage products containing nicotine would also be prohibited.
Dennis Lane, who represents convenience store owners through the Coalition for Responsible Retailing, urged the board at the Aug. 14 hearing to delay its vote and questioned why the board was not concerned about alcohol’s harmful effects on young people.
Board members said they are focused on getting nicotine out of the hands of children and teens, and that alcohol regulation is outside their jurisdiction.
Canton’s proposed regulations also state that no new tobacco permits would be granted to store owners, though existing permits could be transferred to new owners, subject to review by the board. One permit for the exclusive sale of e-cigarettes would also be available.
Board member Julie Goodman said she is interested in reviewing data before the board votes showing how the availability of sweetened nicotine products affects children and teens.
Board members said that they will accept more information regarding proposals in the new law up until Sept. 15, and that they plan to vote on Oct. 2.Jill Terreri Ramos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @jillterreri.