November 28 2016

Burlington Gas Station Has Tobacco Selling Rights Revoked for 30 Days

By: Rich Hosford

A Burlington gas station that failed its third tobacco sales compliance check within a two year span will now have to suspend all tobacco sales for a month. 


Shell Gas/Nouria Energy, located at 198 Cambridge Street, was before the Board of Health last week for a hearing. The business failed a sting by the board where a minor entered the store and attempted to purchase tobacco products. This was the third time in a row that particular store failed a sting, which are conducted every six months. 


Members of the Board of Health were not happy to see the business before them again. 


“We take nothing more seriously than the health of our kids,” Chair Wayne Saltsman said. “So what’s the problem?” 


Representatives of the company said they are in the process of starting internal stings to encourage employees to follow the rules but were only given the go-ahead from the owner to do so recently. 


In the end the Board of Health voted to suspend the store’s right to sell tobacco products for 30 days, running from 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 5 and ending on Tuesday, January 3 at 12 a.m. as per the bylaw. They also voted to require the store’s management to submit a plan on how they will change their training and operations to ensure they do not fail any more compliance checks. 


Saltsman said he hopes this will help them get the message that not selling to minors if of the utmost import. 


“I guess seven days wasn’t painful enough to send a message,” he said, referring to the suspension the last time the store failed. “Thirty days I’d say has to be. What are you going to do differently now that you’re closed for 30 days from selling tobacco to think about it?”


Member Ed Weiner said that if they failed again it could be much worse. 


“You’re going to lose your ability to sell cigarettes for 30 days and the next time it may be for forever,” he said. “That’s a big hit.You’ve got a beautiful place but now you’ve got a reputation. We don’t like beating you up but, my gosh, three times in a row.”


The Board also voted on a seven day tobacco sale suspension for Cigars & More, 64 Middlesex Turnpike, for its second failed compliance check in a 24 month period. That suspension will run from Monday, December 5 to Sunday, December 11.   Nobody from that store was at the meeting. 


Saltsman ended the hearing with an appeal to all stores in town that sell such products. 


“To all of our tobacco sellers in the community, please, card people and follow the rules,” he said. “Do not come before the Board of Health.”

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