Smoking tobacco products has gotten tougher in town with the Board of Health implementing stricter policies prohibiting the sale of tobacco in pharmacies, banning blunt wrap sales and restricting smoking in the Town Office. The Board of Health adopted the policies last fall that took effect earlier this month. The town follows many communities across the state that have adopted similar policies to protect the public from second-hand smoke and discourage children from buying tobacco items.
The first regulation, effective Jan. 1, restricts cigar packaging and bans the sale of blunt wraps and the sale of tobacco in health-care institutions such as pharmacies, and caps the number of tobacco permits. The new policy restricts retailers from selling cigars unless is contained in an original package of at least four which are sold at the market retail price or at $5, whichever is higher. The restriction is meant to discourage children from purchasing cigars. The restriction does not apply to cigars costing $2.50 or more, retail tobacco stores and people who sell or distribute cigars commercially to another person who sells or distributes cigars commercially.
The sale of blunt wraps is no longer allowed in Deerfield either. It is a ban in addition to the existing prohibition of out-of-package sales of cigarettes, self-service displays of tobacco products and nicotine delivery product vending machines.
In addition, no health care institution in town is allowed to sell tobacco or nicotine delivery products. This includes a pharmacy or drug store. Any violator would be fined $100 for the first offense. A business that violates the regulation a second time within 36 months would receive a $200 fine and the tobacco permit would be suspended for seven business days. For a third violation within 36 months, a business owner would be fined $300 and the tobacco permit would be suspended for 30 business days.
The second regulation, effective Jan. 3, expands the statewide workplace smoking ban locally to Deerfield Town Offices and includes a smoking restriction on playgrounds and athletic fields within 20 feet of municipal buildings, in private clubs, and anywhere local food permits are in effect. The regulation’s intent is to protect the health of the employees and general public in Deerfield.
The policy already bans smoking in town-owned property and rights of way during times when they are used for events permitted by the town, public transportation and bus and taxi waiting areas, nursing homes and hotels, motels, inns, and bed and breakfasts. An owner or manager in control of a building or vehicle that violates this regulation would be punished with a $100 fine on first violation, $200 for a second violation within two years and $300 for a third or subsequent violation within two years of the second offense.