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North Adams Board of HealthNovember 18, 2015
Meetings & Notices
BOARD OF HEALTH
Conference Room #202
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
TIME: 4:30 p.m.
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:
REPORT OF CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER:
REPORT OF DIRECTOR OF HEALTH/SANITARIAN:
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Tobacco 21, Wood burning appliances
November 18, 2015
Members Present: John Meaney, Member, Kevin Lamb, Member
Member Absent: Brendan Bullett, Chairperson
Others Present: James O’ Brien, Director of Health / Code Enforcement Melissa Martin, B.O.H. Secretary, Jim Wilusz, Tri Town Health, Ken Farbstein, Tobacco Mass Free, Josh Moran, City Council, Liz Rolison, Berkshire AHEC, Brett Beattie and Wendy Penner, NBCC
John Meaney made a motion to accept and waive the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting, seconded by Kevin Lamb.
Tobacco 21: Jim Wilusz, North Adams has been part of the tobacco control program for years. They provide education and compliance checks, Jim usually visits a few times a year to give us (BOH) an update. He along with Berkshire AhHEC work together in the community for awareness and education. Jim presents the board with a Community Fact Sheet and other information. Berkshire County as a hole ranks very poorly with the ratings with the youth. There are good things going on in North Adams, Health and Wellness, Mass in Motion. Unfortunately the adult smoking rankings are still high, being the highest in the state for adult smoking. Smoking during pregnancy is 394% higher than the state average. However, we are not alone. Tobacco control is one part of the solution. Funding is limited. The last time North Adams updated their regs were 2012. At the time the focus was more on the E cigarette, youth access, nicotine delivery products, smoking in parks,
and city sponsored events. Some towns have taken their own leadership regarding Tobacco 21.
Ken Feinstein presents the board with information regarding Comprehensive Regulations and T21. 83 cities and towns have adopted T21; 2M residents, 30% of Mass, in Dec 2014, there were 41. At least 69 have adopted comprehensive regulations, 24% + of Mass. population. US Senators Markey and Warren and others have filed a nationwide bill. Various agencies support the Tobacco 21. Mass. Attorney General Regulations on e-cigarette sales to minors will take effect in March 2016.
On October 2015, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued “strong recommendations”: The minimum age to purchase tobacco should be increased to 21 years, Flavoring agents, including menthol, should be prohibited in all tobacco products, the promotion and sale of electronic nicotine delivery systems to youth should be provided, tobacco product prices should be increased to reduce youth tobacco use initiation, tobacco control should be adequately funded.
Jim Wilusz, continues with further discussion of the pharmacy ban (66% of the state’s population have implemented the ban); minimum pricing (single cigars), capping licenses (North Adams has 18 licenses) and retailer training (reduced sales by 7% since implementing training). 87% of the 2500 they were trained learned something new. Berkshire AHEC can help with community support and education.
Director O’Brien stated that in 2012 when we updated our regulations, they were so out of date. With the evolution of the industry we have to continually evolve our regulations. Jim Wilusz, tell me what you want
and we craft then you review the regulations. The 2012 regulations are so out of date with the definitions of tobacco products, etc.
Member Meaney inquired about the time frame we set. Director O’Brien stated after the first of the year.
Jim Wilusz mentioned that once we post our public notice, tobacco lobbyist and retailer associations will find out and will rattle the stores to come to the public hearing to do their dirty work. Mr. Wilusz has not seen a tobacco lobbyist in several years. The lobbyists know it’s coming. He also states to the boards to give the community enough time to adjust and educate because it still affects the retailer.
Josh Moran, City Councilor suggest January and February to review, March for the Public Hearing and deadline for July. Member Meaney agreed with the timeline. Mr. Wilusz will forward draft regulations for review, and agreed on the timeline as well. There is a need in his community with the staggering numbers, stated Mr. Wilusz. We are here to protect the youths not the 22 year olds but the 16 year olds that will become the new smoker. North Adams regs regarding the E Cigarette are fine right now.
Ken Feinstein mentioned to the board that no city of town has been sued.
Jim Wilusz, no board of health in the Common Wealth of Mass has ever lost a court battle for local regulations. Boards of health have more authority and power than police departments, mayors, councilors, etc.
Director O’Brien commented that he has no report but stated he has done 26 inspections thus far. He created a new for form for any violations he comes across for his certificates of compliance. Discussion of online permitting was had. Member Meaney asked if we have heard anything regarding the wood burning appliance, we have not. We should go ahead with the regs anyway.
Melissa Martin, Secretary, brought up the licensing for Pedrins Dairy Bar. The owner wants the licenses to reflect the time she is open. The board discussed and agreed not to change the policy. Stating we don’t want to open up a can of worms. Ms. Martin informed the board that invoices have been created for the 2016 licenses and some invoices have been paid. She asked the board to get the licenses signed so that she can begin to hand them out.
The next Meeting will be December 16, 2015.
Meeting adjourned at 5:20pm.
Melissa J. Martin