In the past year, Worcester, Mass. has raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21, banned smoking in a variety of areas and imposed a variety of restrictions on retailers which sell tobacco.
Turns out, that will be it, for now.
The Worcester Board of Health has tabled discussions about whether to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products and whether to ban smoking at outdoor areas of bars and restaurants.
As it turns out, prior laws were behind the decisions to table both measures.
The board admitted the data used regarding flavored tobacco was all based on the idea of 18 being the minimum age to purchase tobacco. Because Worcester now requires individuals to be 21 to purchase tobacco, the board wants at least a year’s worth of data to estimate the potential impact of banning flavored tobacco.
As for the banning smoking at restaurant and bar patios, it seems that could be put off for much longer.
David Fort, chairman of the board, said because of state laws regarding outdoor smoking, there wasn’t a need to pass further restrictions.
Worcester is located less than 40 miles west of Boston and has a population of over 180,000 residents.