Massachusetts Officials Mull Tobacco Regulations

REHOBOTH, Mass. -- The town is considering strict new regulations on the sale of tobacco, including banning all tobacco vending machines, and allowing the police to conduct "sting" operations on tobacco vendors.

The new regulations are under consideration so that the town can continue to receive $12,000 annually in state grant money. The grant requires that the town begin to implement a variety of new tobacco regulations to discourage minors from smoking; some are the town's choosing, while others are mandated by the state, according to the Boston Business Journal.

Among those required by the state is for the town to conduct "sting" operations against local tobacco vendors. The town would enlist the help of local youth under the age of 18, who would try to purchase cigarettes without identification.

Under the proposal, which could take effect as early as Jan. 1 if voted in by the Board of Health, the town will also ban all cigarette vending machines. The proposal also hopes to close certain loopholes by making it illegal for one person to simply give cigarettes to another. The measure was intended to apply to everyone, both minors and those of legal purchasing age, the report said.
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