An appeal filed by a convenience store in Revere, Mass. has forced the effective date of the city’s increase in the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to be pushed back from July 1 to Sept. 1.
In late February, the Revere Board of Health approved a total of 12 new amendments regarding the sale of tobacco products, including the increase of the minimum age. Additionally, fines for violating the ordinance were increased and would stand at $300 for a first offense, $300 and a seven-day suspension of the retailer’s permit for a second offense, and a $300 fine along with a 30 day suspension for a third offense. Should a retailer be found to have sold tobacco products to under age people three times, its permit will not be renewed.
The board also banned the sale of blunt wraps and the use of nonresidential roll-your-own machines, capped the number of tobacco retailers in the city, and prohibited new tobacco retailers to be within 500 feet of a school. One proposal that did not pass was a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco within city limits.
An appeal to the city and board of health filed in late March by Northgate Partners LLC, owners of Joe’s Market, claims the business will suffer financial hardship from the new rules and asserts that the board had no authority under city and state law to enact the restrictions, according to a report by RevereJournal.com. While it does not seek to repeal the age increase, it does seek to undo the restrictions on flavored tobacco sales, the ban on blunt wraps, the packaging requirements for cigars, as well as some of the fines.
Revere is located five miles northeast of Boston and is home to approximately 55,000 residents.