BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston health officials applauded changes approved Monday to the sale of tobacco and nicotine products flavored with mint and menthol.
"I applaud the Board of Health for taking action to ensure #Boston has strong regulations to protect our youth," Walsh said in a tweet. "Teen vaping is alarming because we know nicotine use can lead to lifelong dependency. The data is undeniable in showing that these amendments would save lives."
The amendments, approved Monday by the Boston Board of Health, call for mint and menthol nicotine and tobacco products to only be sold in verified adult-only tobacco retailers. The amendments also strengthen retailer ID checking requirements and restrict the sale of products that attract young people.
“What we are seeing now with the explosive expansion of vaping products risks reversing decades of gains in reducing youth tobacco use,” Boston Board of Health Chair Manny Lopes said in a release. “When it comes to local tobacco control, data shows strong policies work. I believe today’s actions take important steps to prevent Boston’s youth from entering into a lifetime of nicotine and tobacco dependency.”
The changes were also designed to address long-standing disparities in tobacco use patterns and their associated mortality from heart disease, cancer and stroke.
According to the release, BPHC researchers found that among adults in Boston, black adults suffer the greatest burden of tobacco-related mortality of any ethnic or racial group. Tobacco use is a major contributor to the three leading causes of death among African Americans - heart disease, cancer and stroke.