One Massachusetts town isn’t jumping on the bandwagon to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, instead choosing to increase the fines on retailers who sell to minors.
The Middleborough Board of Selectmen voted against the increase on Tuesday after board vice chairman Stephen McKinnon’s idea to motivate retailers not to sell to minors with heftier fines caught traction. According to a report Wicked Local, a tobacco sting operation conducted by the state cited 12 retailers for selling cigarettes to minors. Of those 12, six were repeat offenders.
To provide some extra financial incentive to make sure they are only selling to people of age, the board approved an increase in the fines for repeat offenders. Second violations go from $200 to $500, while third and subsequent violations increase from $300 to $1,000. First time violators will stay face a $100 fine.
While the board discussed the idea of an increase to the minimum age to purchase tobacco, there was no interest among the selectman to pursue the idea.
Middleborough is located just over 40 miles south of Boston and is home to an estimated 23,116 people as of 2010.