New tobacco regulations in Amherst effective this weekend

22News explains how this new requirement will impact businesses.

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP)- Starting this weekend you will have to be 21 to buy tobacco products in Amherst. More than  50 Massachusetts communities have already adopted similar tobacco regulations.

New tobacco regulations for the town of Amherst go into effect Saturday, August 15th.

The Director of the Amherst Health and Community Services, Julie Federman told 22News, “The state brings forward model tobacco regulations to Boards of Health for their consideration and the Amherst Board of Health felt it was time to make two big changes.”

Under the new rules, You’ll have to be 21 instead of 18 to buy tobacco products.  Also, no flavored tobacco products other than “menthol” will be allowed in town.

Some college students that bought cigarettes or flavored tobacco products last year will not be able to this year. And many smoke shops in the area will have to keep a closer eye on checking ID’s.

All products, including e-cigarettes have to be kept behind the counter, no blunt wraps, and tobacco product carrying stores are required to post signs saying No Sales to Persons Under 21.

Clerks will have to be trained and monitored. Single cigar sales won’t be allowed unless it cost at least $2.50

Danielle Mishkit, of Rochester, Vermont said, “I think that its going to be difficult for these businesses. I’m sure that a lot of the college age students that are 18 plus go in there now. Now that they’re not 21 it’s going to be difficult for them to get it. However, I do think they are still going to have access to it.”

George Hamilton told 22News, “I mean I personally think that it’s not really going to do much change. I think that people that want to smoke cigarettes, can smoke cigarettes no matter what. I don’t think it’s a bad idea, but I don’t think it’s going to accomplish much.”

Violating the new regulations will cost store owners $100 the first time, 200 the second, with a seven-day permit suspension.
And $300 the third with a 30 day suspension.  Further violations could result in losing a Tobacco Product Sales Permit.

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