Everett ban on tobacco sales in drugstores delayed

This week would have marked the beginning of a new era for cigarette sales in this city.

The Everett Board of Health voted to ban the sale of cigarettes in drugstores in Everett May 24.

That decision was to have taken effect Tuesday.

As a result, cigarettes would no longer be sold at Walgreens on Ferry Street; Rite Aid, on Broadway; and Costco, on Mystic View Road.

Tobacco products at all three of those locations would have been removed prior to the regulation taking effect.

But they have not been removed and won’t be until August 15, according to the Board of Health, which has extended the time to allow their permits to sell cigarettes to run out.

In addition, the Health Board is considering amendments to the cigarette sales ban at its July 19 meeting.

“I am a strong supporter of this effort led by Heidi Porter, our Director of Public Health,” said Mayor Carlo DeMaria.

“The Everett Board of Health believes that it is important that the sale of tobacco products be banned in health care institutions including pharmacies – and I whole heartedly agree,” he added.

The regulation provides that cigarettes cannot be sold at location which also include pharmacies.

At an earlier hearing when the Health Board was considering the action, it heard from representatives of Costco and Walgreens, who spoke against the change.

Both concerns were worried about the financial impact such a regulation would have on their business.

Costco representatives said that it was near to impossible for minors to purchase cigarettes at its Mystic View Road location as Costco is a member only retailer.

However, the Board was not swayed.

A number of local groups dedicated to healthier living spoke for the measure.

Members of Teens in Everett Against Substance Abuse spoke at the hearing. In addition, members from the Cambridge Health Alliance also spoke for the cigarette ban in stores with pharmacies.

Everett joins the city of Boston and the towns of Needham, Newton and Uxbridge as places where similar bans on cigarette sales have been imposed.

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