May 29, 2020

Board of Health Public Hearing

April 20, 2016
Meetings & Notices

City of North Adams
Board of Health
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Council Chambers


1. Approval of Minutes (March 23, 2016)

2. Local Tobacco Regulations Public Hearing

o Public Input

o Review and Discussion

o Close Public Hearing


Brendan Bullett, Chairperson

April 20, 2016

Members Present: Brendan Bullett (Chairperson)
Kevin Lamb (Member)
John Meaney (Member)

Others Present: James O’ Brien, Director of Health / Code Enforcement Melissa Martin (BOH Secretary), Jim Wilusz (Tri-Town Health), Josh Moran (City Councilor), Karl Waltermire, Steven Durant, Perri Bernstein, Kathy Lyon, Bret Beattie, Tammy Daniels (I Berkshires), Thomas Hyde, Corinne Zinni Case, DJ Wilson

Brendan Bullet made a motion to accept and waive the reading of the minutes of the previous meeting, seconded by Kevin Lamb. Unanimous vote.

Local Tobacco Regulations Public Hearing: 4:35pm
To review and amend local regulations restricting the sale of tobacco products. There are (2) sign in sheets, everyone in attendance needs to sign and those who are speaking also needs to sign a separate sheet. The Board of Health will accept any person willing to speak on behalf of or in opposition to the regulations and keep their comments to (3) minutes and all comments must be on the topic of the regulations. Each speaker must come to the microphone, clearly state their name and address. Order will be expected.
Karl Waltermire: (Reads a letter addressed to the Board dated April 13, 2016). Members of the Board of Health, Addressing the proposed requirements for all clerks selling tobacco to attend an approved training program. We believe this regulation is not necessary at this time. The Tobacco awareness group has run several compliance checks each tear in North Adams for years. An investigation of their results would prove if North Adams has a serious problem with compliance. If our retailers are carding for ID’s, why is this regulation being proposed. Why should those without a violation be penalized. This regulation would put a financial burden on the small retailers of North Adams. Many have part time employees supplementing a full time job. Certainly these employees would have to be paid for the time they spend in training in addition to any costs assessed for training. In our particular business we have a minimum 3 week training of all new employees. Requesting ID’s is the most important part of the training! If the compliance checks have shown that retailers are doing their job, again why penalize the innocent. If an individual is not complying then by all means training might be in order for that individual. We request that this potential mandate be eliminated. Do not punish those who follow the rules. Thank You, Bob West, Karl Waltermire (West Package Store)
DJ Wilson (Massachusetts Municipal Association): Provided data reports / state wide municipal lists that shows what others cities have been doing. (105) cities have gone to 21: with Needham being the first in 2005. The state now provides free signage for retailers to cities and towns that have the 21. No law suits and people have been very good being incompliance. Limit flavor products to adult only retailers with (52) in place: The federal government found that the flavors are a starter kit for kids when they banned flavored cigarettes years ago; this is an extension of that expanding it to E-Cigarette juices and cigars. Minimum pricing on cigars, (120) cities and towns that have done that: includes any tube of tobacco that is not a cigarette. Blunt Wraps: Reconstituted sheet of tobacco (125) cities. Capping the number of tobacco permits: (68) cities and towns. Pharmacy Ban: (134) cities and towns.
Perri Bernstein (Youth Prevention and Wellness Associate @ Northern Berkshire Community Coalition): Northern Berkshire surpasses the statistically number for all substances, alcohol, and tobacco, marijuana being the top three, with surveys provided to 8th, 10th, and 12th graders to obtain this information. The brain is not yet fully developed until the age of 25.
Thomas Hyde (Retired Pediatrician & Northern Berkshire Community Coalition): This is very simple math. Raising the minimum sales age to 21 will dramatically reduce tobacco use, and only 2% of tobacco sales at stores produce 90% of new smokers. That is the 2% of under 21who start smoking, they create life time smokers that can die of all ways. If we decrease the chance of smoking under 21, it has a dramatic effect on how many end up smoking for the rest of their lives. It will reduce smoking rates to single digits in the community. Most minors get cigarettes from 18-20 year olds.
Corinne Case (Area Health Education Center): Provides a flier for marketing tobacco products to under aged children our youth are being exposed to. The purchasing access to these products is outrageous. Youth are being marketed; there is no safe cigarette, no nicotine that is non-addictive.
WHEREAS: numerous communities surrounding the City of North Adams and across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have recently adopted updated or are in process of amending local board of health regulations relating to the sale of tobacco and tobacco related products, including raising the Minimum Legal Sales Age from 18 to 21; and
WHEREAS: it is generally agreed by all parties involved in the distribution and marketing of tobacco and tobacco-related products in these communities, including and especially those engaged in the direct sales or regulation of such products, that relevant regulations be as uniform as possible so as to better effectuate fair and effective enforcement as well as fair market practices across the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS: the adoption of these regulations would promote the health and safety of its residents as well as its businesses; and
WHEREAS: such regulations have been adopted by communities legislatively by their respective Boards of Health; and
WHEREAS: as of the date of the filing of this resolution, action is pending by the City of North Adams Board of Health, or otherwise, relative to the adoption and/or promulgation of any of the proposed updated regulations; and
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED: That the North Adams City Council hereby requests, and supports that the North Adams Board of Health adopts forthwith, the proposed draft regulations approved at its March, 2016 Board of Health meeting, once a public hearing is concluded and after due process and deliberation.
This was passed by the City Council and endorsed by the Mayor.

Brendan Bullet, Chairperson: This hearing is now closed.

James O’Brien, Director of Health: Made a motion to accept changes to the 2007 Youth Access Tobacco Regulations. Unanimous vote.
James O’Brien, Director of Health: Made a motion to amend the 2007 Youth Access Tobacco Regulations including Tobacco 21. Members Meaney and Lamb in favor. Chairperson Bullet opposed. Effective August 1, 2016.

Meeting adjourned @ 4:55pm.

The next Meeting will be May 18th .