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Boston Proposes Increased Tobacco Regulations

In an effort to increase overall public health and positively influence young people, Boston legislators are promoting one of the strictest tobacco laws in the country, a measure that would keep cigarettes out of drug stores and off college campuses, reported The New York Times.

The Boston Public Health Commission will vote Nov. 13, on the measure, which would also close the city's 10 hookah and cigar bars. The commission defends the strict measure by comparing tobacco to other dangerous substances like alcohol.

“Should tobacco be treated as any other consumer good? No,? said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Board of Health. “We don’t sell guns everywhere, we don’t sell alcohol everywhere and we don’t need to be selling tobacco everywhere. They’re all dangerous products, and they all require regulation.?

But some local business owners, particularly the 10 cigar and hookah bar owners said they think the measure is discriminatory, reported The Boston Globe.

“It’s tying the hands of sellers and consumers alike, and that isn’t what government should be about,? said Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, which represents small businesses, including pharmacies.

The courts disagree.

The city of San Francisco passed a similar ban this July banning the sale of cigarettes in drug stores. The courts upheld the ban, which is set to begin Oct. 1.