The health board of a small town in the US is studying a proposal to prohibit the sale of any product with tobacco or nicotine, according to a WFXT-TV FOX25 report quoting a Boston Globe story.
If the proposal is accepted, Westminster (population 7,277 in 2010 according to Wikipedia), in Worcester County, Massachusetts, will become the first community in the US to ban all tobacco sales.
The list of banned items will include cigarettes, chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes.
The board’s proposal reportedly cites research that suggests nearly 500,000 adults in the US die prematurely each year because of smoking.
The board said also that it wanted to stay ahead of tobacco companies’ slick marketing and new products that target young people, such as 69-cent bubble-gum-flavored cigars.
Store owners are reportedly furious and are circulating petitions to block the proposal, saying banning this legal product would drive them out of business.
A public hearing on the plan has been scheduled for November 12, when residents will be able to voice their opinions.
In order for the ban to be enacted, the three-member board of health reportedly has to take a vote on it.