No Butts About It: Concord Shops Ace Tobacco Test, Yet E-Cigs Remain a Concern

Concord’s tobacco vendors all passed compliance test earlier this month, but the Board of Health remains concerned about the emergence of the e-cigarette.

None of Concord's 16 tobacco vendors sold to underage plants in a compliance test earlier this month. Patch file photo
None of Concord's 16 tobacco vendors sold to underage plants in a compliance test earlier this month. Patch file photo

Two weeks ago, two minors entered all 16 of Concord’s tobacco vendors and tried to buy various products.

In each case, they failed. Which, in turn, means the Concord shops passed.

Town Manager Chris Whelan wrote about the tobacco compliance checks, held Saturday, Jan. 11, in his most recent report:

Two minors, 16-years-old, supervised by the Mystic Valley Tobacco Control Program Coordinator, visited all 16 tobacco vendors in Concord. None of the tobacco retailers sold tobacco products to the underage youth. In all of the 16 stores, the clerk asked for an ID and refused to sell cigarettes, small cigars, and e-cigarettes to the minors.

The 100 percent compliance was an improvement over last fall, when one local retailer—the 7-Eleven in West concord—was received a warning from the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program for an unspecified violation.

According to the Board of Health’s meeting minutes, that was the first violation observed in inspections conducted since 2011.

But tobacco sales aren’t the Board of Health’s only concern when it comes to curbing underage nicotine use.

Meeting minutes and recent reports from Whelan indicate the board has become increasingly concerned about “e-cigarettes.” That’s short for electronic cigarettes, a battery-powered device that simulates smoking a cigarette and can allow the vaporization of nicotine.

Among the concerns are that e-cigarettes are marketed to teens and young adults and that they may be used to skirt smoking prohibitions in public places. 

So what do you think? What kind of local guidelines or bylaws would you like to see regarding the use of e-cigarettes? 

Fred Gotsteam January 24, 2014 at 07:22 AM
I don't believe E-cigs need any guidelines other than what is currently in place, no sales to underage buyers. Your concern need only lie in the current guidelines. E-cigs are a vastly more healthy way to enjoy nicotine without the deadly byproducts of smoke for both the user and bystanders. E-cigs should be embraced as finally being a way for a society to make cigarettes and their associated diseases obsolete and a thing of the past. Nicotine is not a carcinogen. I just read that Pepsi Cola has 6X the the California limit of 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI, a known carcinogen. I don't see anyone addressing this issue. E-cigs have no carcinogens.


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