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Board of Health upholds fine against convenience store for selling tobacco to a minor

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Revere Beach water quality and residential rodent control also addressed

 

By Barbara Taormina

 

The Board of Health met last week for a round of usual business and updates on community health. Board Chair Drew Bunker and Board member Kathleen Savage upheld a $2,000 fine and seven-day license suspension for Shirley Ave. Variety Store for a second offense of selling tobacco products to a minor. The Board felt the high fine was justified because it was a second offense and because the owners of the shop have several convenience stores in Revere and hold several tobacco sales licenses.

The owner of Shirley Ave. Variety attended the meeting and told Board members they do not intentionally sell tobacco products to underage youth, but he added that it was difficult to avoid the error.

Bonny Carroll of Six City Tobacco Initiative asked if the shop asked all customers buying tobacco products for identification. Carroll stressed requiring an ID is the only way to avoid selling to minors and the fines that come with that.

“We know it’s hard, but a $2,000 fine is hard, too,” said Bunker.

Carroll said the Six City Tobacco Initiative offers training for employees and help with signs that let customers know they need to provide identification to make tobacco purchases.

Public Health Director Lauren Buck gave a monthly update on various aspects of community health. Buck said influenza and Covid cases have decreased, as expected, during the warm weather. Buck also noted that opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts have decreased by 10 percent over the past year and Revere has followed that trend and seen a similar decrease. Buck also highlighted some seasonal health information. She said the water at Revere Beach is tested every Tuesday, and any closures due to bacterial counts will be listed with a red banner on the city’s website. Residents can also check the state’s website at https://www.mass.gov/beach-water-quality for a list of any local beaches closed for health reasons. Buck offered several other seasonal reminders, including one not always heard. She advised residents taking any medications to check with doctors or the CDC website to make sure their meds do not interfere with heat tolerance.

The Board of Health also received an update on the city’s rodent control program. Residents who have seen rats or evidence of rats on their property can request the city to send a professional exterminator to inspect and treat the exterior of a home. Residents who need help with rodents must sign a waiver online or at the 311 Constituents Service Center. A waiver grants the City of Revere permission to examine the exterior of a property, exterminate any burrows and place bait stations on the property. Residents can request up to six exterminator visits each year.

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