Pushing for tougher smoking restrictions

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Board of Health in Northampton is hoping to put more restrictions on smoking.

The Board of Health will unveil their proposal during a public hearing on March 20th.

They want to ban smoking in city parks, like Pulaski Park along Main Street.

The ban would also extend to city-owned playgrounds, swimming areas and sports fields.

The new restrictions would also tighten the sale of tobacco by requiring that store clerks I.D. all customers who want to buy tobacco products, even if they look old enough.

Restrictions would also ban any store with a pharmacy from selling tobacco.

22News asked both smokers and non-smokers what they think.

“I think that’s absurd. You should be able to smoke outside. I mean the smoke goes up in the air, it doesn’t go directly in anybody’s face. None of that,” said smoker Jeffrey Spiller of Easthampton.

Jan Morris does not smoke. She works in Northampton, and told 22News, “Definitely they are sending a message about people health but people’s health is a personal choice, so they more they restrict that. I guess that’s a problem for the people who smoke.”

If it takes effect, the Board of Health told 22News restrictions would be enforced through signage and help from the police.

People violating the ban would be fined $100 for the first offense and up to $300 for several violations.

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