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Greenfield includes e-cigarettes in smoking ban

GREENFIELD — The town has recently updated its smoking regulations by banning electronic cigarettes from bars and restaurants, workplaces, municipal buildings, town parks and playgrounds and anywhere else cigarette smoking is banned in town.

Nicole Zabko, the town’s health director, said electronic cigarettes, a device used to turn an oil-nicotine solution into vapor, are now prohibited in those places, but can be smoked anywhere cigarettes are allowed.

Zabko said the new regulations simply add to the ones that have been in place for several years. She said she and other town officials have been concerned about the new devices, also known as e-cigarettes, because they are not yet regulated and do not have U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval.

She said new regulations also ban the sale of cigarettes and electronic cigarettes in places that have pharmacies, like Big Y Supermarket, CVS Pharmacy, Stop & Shop Supermarket, Walgreens Pharmacy and Rite Aid Pharmacy, as well as in educational institutions and retail stores within educational institutions.

The town decided to focus on electronic cigarettes late last year.

“We don’t know what’s being vaporized and what it might be doing as a second-hand product,” said Zabko.

Electronic cigarettes have become a trend, especially for those trying to quit smoking. Some have promoted them as a safer solution to cigarettes, but Zabko and others are not convinced.

In April, the FDA proposed new regulations on previously unchecked tobacco products and sales, which included electronic cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco.

If new regulations are passed, the FDA would have more power over those products.

Zabko said the town doesn’t want to ban the product completely, but wants to make sure all citizens are safe.

She has said that one of the town’s biggest concerns is enforcement, as with many of its rules and regulations.

“Just like when we banned smoking in town parks, we have to think about how the ban will be enforced,” she said in an earlier interview.

The new regulations are currently posted on the town website at:

www.townofgreenfield.org

or

www.greenfield-ma.gov

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