Evidence shows that tobacco smoke causes cancer, respiratory diseases, various cardiac diseases, negative birth outcomes, allergies, and irritations to the eyes, nose and throat to both the smoker and nonsmoker exposed to involuntary (secondhand) smoke.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of premature death in the U.S. Evidence further demonstrates that repeated use of tobacco products will result in a behavioral dependency and for some; a physical addiction to nicotine. The Gloucester Board of Health has developed regulations (PDF) designed to reduce involuntary exposure of nonsmokers to tobacco smoke and to prohibit access of tobacco products to minors. A permit (PDF) is needed for any retail business to sell tobacco in Gloucester.
On November 2, 2017, the Board of Health adopted changes to the "Regulation of the City of Gloucester Board of Health Restricting the Sale of Tobacco Products". (PDF) The new regulations took effect May 1, 2018.
These changes include, but are not limited to:
- Restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products (other than menthol, mint or wintergreen) to establishments that are exclusively serving patrons who are, at minimum, twenty one years old, do not sell food items of any kind and do not sell lottery items.
- Extend the definition of "Tobacco products" to include, amongst other things, any component, or part of, a tobacco product.