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January 2, 2019

Flavored tobacco now banned in Worcester

Photo/Grant Welker Worcester's City Council voted in April to join a growing list of Massachusetts cities and towns restricting flavored tobacco sales.

Worcester has joined a growing list of Massachusetts cities and towns banning the sale of flavored tobacco.

Worcester's ban went into effect Jan. 1, restricting sales of flavored tobacco to adult-only retail tobacco stores and smoking bars. The Worcester Board of Health voted in April to put the ban in place.

Worcester joins 20 other Central Massachusetts cities and towns in banning such sales, according to the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

Sherborn was the first to do so in 2014, followed by Marlborough and Millis in 2015, and Grafton, Maynard, Townsend and Winchendon in 2016.

Eight more communities enacted bans in 2017: Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Holden, Leominster, Stow, Sudbury and West Boylston. Four more joined them last year: Ashburnham, Lancaster, Spencer and Webster. Ashburnham's ban went into effect just this week, on Dec. 30.

Westborough has voted for its own ban, which will go into effect Jan. 15.

More than 130 cities and towns statewide have now implemented flavored tobacco restrictions.

Buying tobacco at all in Massachusetts is also now more difficult. As of Dec. 30, the minimum age for buying any tobacco rose from 18 to 21. The new law prohibits the sale of tobacco products by pharmacies and bans the use of e-cigarettes in places where state law already prohibits smoking.

CORRECTION: An earlier version incorrectly said it was the Worcester City Council that approved new tobacco regulations.

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