New tobacco regulations in Oak Bluffs began March 1

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Signs posted in Our Market in Oak Bluffs announcing the new legal age to buy tobacco products. – Gabrielle Mannino

On Thursday, March 1, the legal age to buy tobacco products in Oak Bluffs jumped from 18 to 21 years old. New regulations cover cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, liquid nicotine, and e-cigarettes.

Sales of flavored tobacco products and blunt wraps are now prohibited in Oak Bluffs.

All stores that sell tobacco products have to obtain a Tobacco Product Sales permit from the board of health under the new guidelines. There are eight permits allocated for the town. Permits will not be renewed if there are three violations of the new regulations within a one-year span.

The new regulations were passed by a unanimous vote of the Oak Bluffs board of health at its Dec. 19 meeting.

According to the board’s statement of purpose, “more than 80 percent of all adult smokers begin before the age of 18, and more than 90 percent do so before leaving their teens.”