April 12 2018

Burlington Board of Health Raises Tobacco Sale Age to 21

By: Rich Hosford

People not yet old enough to drink alcohol will soon be unable to buy tobacco in Burlington.

On Tuesday the Board of Health voted unanimously to change the regulations on the sale of tobacco products in town. One big change was raising the age of purchasing such products to 21 years of age. The changes will go in effect on April 30.

This proposed change was first discussed in February when the board reviewed a proposed rewrite of the regulations. However, at that time they had issues with the proposal, specifically that it would limit the sale of vaping products to specialized vaping stores, saying it would hurt businesses currently selling those products.

This week they had a new proposal before them that members felt was fair for businesses and protected young people.

“The subcommittee, with help from an attorney, I think came to a fair balance between protecting the kids, respecting the business owners and respecting the adults who want to use these products,” Board Chairman Wayne Saltsman said.

Other changes to the rules and regulations on tobacco sales include capping the total number of permits in town, banning the sale of blunt wraps and prohibiting the sale of tobacco products in health care institutions, including pharmacies. This last ban only affects Shaw’s, which both currently sells tobacco products and has a pharmacy.

During the meeting one resident, who identified herself as a nurse and a mother of teenagers, applauded the proposed change.

“I’m around a lot of concerned parents that have teenagers and I am thrilled you are going to be voting on the new regulations,” she said. “This is a big problem in Burlington.”


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