The Board of Health approved updated tobacco regulations that will eventually decrease the number of tobacco sales licenses in the city. The updated regulations, which were approved by the board at its August 25 meeting, also codify the fines and license suspension lengths for businesses that sell cigarettes or other tobacco products to minors. The vote came after a lengthy discussion of the ordinance at the board’s July meeting.
One of the biggest changes in the city’s ordinance is the so-called “advanced cap” that will lower the number of tobacco sales permits in the city. “This was a big change that we made,” said Public Health Director Lauren Buck. “As of the effective date of this regulation, any permits surrendered, revoked, or not renewed, either because the retailer no longer sells tobacco products as defined herein, or because the retailer closes, the retail (permit) shall be returned to the Revere Board of Health and shall be permanently retired by the board of health and the total allowable number of tobacco sales permits shall be reduced by the number of the retired permit.” Revere currently has 60 retail tobacco sales permits.
“This means that our total number of permits will always be decreasing from here on out, if the existing permits are surrendered for the reasons listed,” said Buck.
The regulations will continue to permit two adults-only retail tobacco businesses in the city and prohibit issuing a tobacco permit to a business that is within 500 feet of a public or private school. The penalties for selling tobacco products to minors were set at a suspension of three consecutive business days and a $1,000 fine for the first violation within 36 months, a seven-day suspension and $2,000 fine, and a suspension of 30 or 60 days and a $5,000 fine for the third violation.
“We went through this extensively at the last meeting, and my viewpoint is that the decisions we made were the right ones,” said Board of Health Chair Dr. Drew Bunker. “I feel comfortable with the regulations as they are now.”
The board unanimously approved the updated regulations.
In other business, the board read a proclamation from Mayor Brian Arrigo declaring the week of Sept. 4 to Sept. 10 as National Suicide Prevention Week.