BROOKLINE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – A newly implemented ordinance in Brookline aims to take on tobacco and vaping by essentially eliminating the problem.
As of this fall, there legally will be no new users as anyone born after January 1, 2000 cannot purchase any tobacco products in the town. The ordinance amended the town’s pre-existing policy on the sale and distribution of tobacco or e-cigarette products to minors.
The impacts from excessive tobacco use have been seen by some young people firsthand. One Brookline resident told WBZ-TV that both of their “grandparents smoked their entire life and one of them passed away from lung cancer.”
The ordinance does not affect any existing users or businesses, but tobacco vendors must visibly post the notice in their establishments. Everywhere in the state, those 21 and older can purchase tobacco products. One Brookline parent said for this to work, other communities would have to follow suit.
“It does sound a bit draconian,” the father told WBZ-TV. “But yeah, with little kids I’d prefer they stay away from tobacco personally. There are enough dangers in the world.”
Brookline is the first city in the country to ban tobacco sales to anyone born in the 21st century, with Attorney General Maura Healy approving the law back in July. Just this week, New Zealand announced similar plans that would lead to an eventual complete smoking ban across the country.