Stiffer penalties for sale of illegal smokes

The Canton Board of Health has voted to place greater restrictions on the sale of tobacco products in town, including stiffened penalties for violating the law.

The board’s goal is to see fewer stores selling tobacco products, said John Ciccotelli, the town’s director of public health.

Canton will not grant new licenses to sell tobacco products. In the case of a business that changes hands, existing licenses may only be transferred from one owner to another within 60 days of the sale, subject to conditions.


The board also banned the sale of flavored tobacco, except for flavors such as menthol, mint, and eucalyptus, in stores that are open to all ages, Ciccotelli said.

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Stores where patrons must be 21 or older are permitted to sell flavored tobacco products. The town has only one such “adults only” store, Ciccotelli said.

The probationary period for stores that violate the law was extended from 18 to 36 months, and three violations, not four, would result in the revocation of a tobacco permit.

The town has no e-cigarette store, but has one license available for that purpose. If no business applies before the end of 2018, the license will no longer be available.

The board had wanted to ban the sale of some smokeless tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco and snuff, a powdered version of tobacco, but compromised and allowed these products to be sold as other tobacco products are, to customers age 21 and over, Ciccotelli said. Other smokeless products can be sold in stores where patrons must be 21 or older to enter.


The board heard from members of the public and then voted in favor of the regulations at its meeting Oct. 2.

Jill Terreri Ramos can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @jillterreri.