A number of changes are coming to tobacco sales in Williamstown, Mass. after the town’s board of health passed a number of changes on Monday that will take effect on January 5, 2015.
The most impactful change is a ban on smoking at bars and restaurants with an exterior space where food or beverages are “received, stored, prepared, served or consumed,” according to iBerkshires.com. The move extends the existing ban that already covered all inside areas.
Additionally, pharmacies in the town will no longer be allowed to sell tobacco products, and the sale of flavored tobacco products will be banned at all retailers within town limits. There will also be a new ban on the sale of single cigars priced under $2.50 per unit, which exempts premium, handmade cigars from the ordinance.
The changes were voted on after a discussion that lasted less than 30 minutes and had public comment from just four members of the public, all of whom were in favor of the restrictions.
The board also discussed the idea of raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products within the town to 21 years of age, but decided to delay that change until they had a chance to gather more public input. However, the proposal was met with an “enthusiastic” response by members of the board.
Williamstown is home to approximately 8,500 people and is located in the northwest corner of the state, about 40 miles east of Albany, NY.