[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Georgetown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 4-2001; amended in its entirety 5-13-2009]
Whereas there exists conclusive evidence that tobacco smoke causes cancer, respiratory and cardiac diseases, negative birth outcomes, irritations to the eyes, nose and throat; and whereas more than 90% of all smokers begin smoking before the age of 18 (See, "Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People," Surgeon General's Report, 1994); and whereas an estimated 3,000 minors begin smoking every day in the United States (See, "Cancer Facts & Figures — 1993," American Cancer Society); and whereas the United States Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that nicotine is as addictive as cocaine or heroin; and whereas despite state laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors, access by minors to tobacco products is a major problem; now, therefore it is the intention of the Georgetown Board of Health to curtail the access of tobacco products by minors.
This regulation is promulgated pursuant to the authority granted to the Georgetown Board of Health by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 111, Section 31, that "Boards of Health may make reasonable health regulations. . ."
For the purpose of this regulation, the following words shall have the following meanings:
- An individual who performs services for an employer.
- Any individual who performs services for an employer.
- Any individual, partnerships, association, corporation, trust or other organized group of individuals, including the Town of Georgetown or any agency thereof, which uses the services of one or more employees.
- Any individual who is under the age of 18.
- PERMIT HOLDER
- An owner or operator of any establishment engaged in the sale of tobacco products that applies for and receives a tobacco sales permit, or his or her agent.
- Any individual, employer, employee, retail store manager or owner, or the owner or operator of any establishment engaged in the sale of tobacco products.
- SELF-SERVICE DISPLAY
- Any display from which customers may select a tobacco product without assistance from an employee or store personnel, excluding vending machines.
- TOBACCO PRODUCT
- Cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, bidis, snuff or tobacco in any of its forms.
- VENDING MACHINE
- Any automated or mechanical self-service device, which, upon insertion of money, tokens or any other form of payment, dispenses cigarettes or any other tobacco product.
No person shall sell tobacco products or permit tobacco products to be sold to a minor, or not being the minor's parent or legal guardian, give tobacco products to a minor.
In conformance with and in addition to Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 270, Section 7, a copy of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 270, Section 6, shall be posted conspicuously by the owner or other person in charge thereof in the shop or other place used to sell tobacco products at retail. The notice shall be provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and made available from the Georgetown Board of Health. Such notice shall be at least 48 square inches and shall be posted at the cash register which receives the greatest volume of tobacco product sales in such a manner so that it may be readily seen by a person standing at or approaching the cash register. Such notice shall directly face the purchaser and shall not be obstructed from view or placed at a height of less than four feet or greater than nine feet from the floor. For all other cash registers that sell tobacco products, a notice shall be attached which is no smaller than nine square inches, which is the size of the sign provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Such notice must be posted in a manner so that it may be readily seen by a person standing at or approaching the cash register. Such notice shall directly face the purchaser and shall not be obstructed from view or placed at a height of no less than four feet or more than nine feet from the floor.
Identification. Each person shall verify by means of government-issued photographic identification containing the bearer's date of birth that the purchaser is 18 years old or older. Verification is required for any person under the age of 27.
No person shall sell or otherwise distribute tobacco at retail within the Town of Georgetown without first obtaining a tobacco sales permit issued annually by the Georgetown Board of Health.
As part of the application process, the applicant will be provided with the Georgetown Board of Health regulation. Each applicant is required to sign a statement declaring that the applicant has read said regulation and that the applicant is responsible for instructing any and all employees and/or agents who will be responsible for tobacco sales regarding both state laws regarding the sale of tobacco and this regulation.
Each applicant is required to provide proof of a current tobacco sales license issued by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue before a tobacco sales permit can be issued.
The fee for a tobacco sales permit shall be determined by the Georgetown Board of Health. All such permits shall be renewed annually on January 1.
A separate permit is needed for each retail establishment selling tobacco.
Each tobacco sales permit shall be displayed at the retail establishment in a conspicuous place.
No tobacco sales permit holder shall allow any employee to sell cigarettes or other tobacco products until such employee reads this regulation and state laws regarding the sale of tobacco and signs a statement, a copy of which will be placed on file in the office of the employer, that he/she has read the regulation and applicable state laws.
A tobacco sales permit is nontransferable, except a new permit will be issued to a retailer who changes location.
Issuance of a tobacco sales permit shall be conditioned on an applicant's consent to unannounced, periodic inspections of his/her retail establishment to ensure compliance with this regulation.
No person shall distribute, or cause to be distributed, any free samples of tobacco products.
No person may sell or cause to be sold or distribute or cause to be distributed, any cigarette package that contains fewer than 20 cigarettes, including single cigarettes.
All tobacco vending machines are prohibited. The only exception is tobacco vending machines that are located in facilities where the retailer ensures that no person younger than 18 years of age is present, or permitted to enter, at any time.
Any person who violates any section of this regulation, except for § 473-4A, shall receive a fine of $100 for each violation.
It shall be the responsibility of the permit holder and/or his or her agent to ensure compliance with § 473-4A of this regulation. The permit holder shall receive:
In the case of a first violation, a fine of $100. In addition, the permit holder shall appear before the Georgetown Board of Health in order to discuss the violation and identify strategies to prevent the violation from occurring again.
In the case of a second violation within 24 months of the date of the first violation, a fine of $200 and the permit shall be suspended for seven consecutive business days.
In the case of three or more violations within 24 months of the date of the first violation, a fine of $300 and the permit shall be suspended for 30 consecutive business days.
The Georgetown Board of Health shall provide notice of the intent to suspend a tobacco sales permit, which notice shall contain the reasons therefor and establish a time and date for a hearing, which date shall be no earlier than seven days after the date of said notice. The permit holder shall have an opportunity to be heard at such hearing and shall be notified of the Board of Health's decision, and the reasons therefor in writing. The Georgetown Board of Health, after a hearing, may suspend the tobacco sales permit. All tobacco products shall be removed from the retail establishment upon suspension of the tobacco sales permit. Failure to remove all tobacco products shall constitute a separate violation of this regulation.
Any permit holder who does not pay the assessed fine within 21 days from fine issuance may be subject to criminal proceedings.
Enforcement of this regulation shall be by the Board of Health of the Town of Georgetown or its designated agent(s).
Any citizen who desires to register a complaint pursuant to the regulation may do so by contacting the Board of Health of the Town of Georgetown or its designated agent(s), and the Board shall investigate.
If any provision of these regulations is declared invalid or unenforceable, the other provisions shall not be affected thereby but shall continue in full force and effect.
This regulation shall take effect on May 1, 2001.