The health council maintains a fine, stopping the sale of tobacco to minors

The Revere Health Council held its regular monthly meeting last Thursday, June 23, in the hall of the Revere City Council.

Present were President Dr. Drew Bunker and members Dr. Craig Constanza and Neja Luadi, as well as Lauren Buck, Director of Public Health; Michael Wells, Health Agent / Director of Inspection Services (ISD); and Paula Sepulveda, administrative assistant on board.

Buck presented the monthly report on communicable diseases. She told the board that flu cases in the city were declining. She also said that a previously diagnosed case of monkeypox in the city had been “canceled” during a further examination of the patient’s symptoms by the State Council for Public Health.

Buck said that there is currently one case of tuberculosis in the city and that the patient is being treated and feeling well.

As for COVID, Buck said there have been 182 COVID-related deaths in the city since the start of the pandemic, an increase of one from last month. She also said that the average value of the 7-day case was 13.1 for the last month, which is “a huge decrease compared to last month, which we believe is a decrease from the flash of the jump in the previous two months.”

Buck said there have been increases in the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations for all age groups. She reminded residents to go to for a list of weekly vaccine clinics in the city during the summer months.

Wales then presented a new monthly report to the board, covering the various types of inspections carried out by the ISD, including pool inspections, external sanitation, food inspections and certificates of suitability for renting units. He listed the number of inspections in each category and the citations for violations during the month.

The board then heard a request to appeal the $ 1,000 fine and suspend the license of a local tobacco store, ABC, at 170 Revere Street, which was imposed on April 11, 2022 by the Six City Tobacco Initiative and subsequently upheld by the health council.

A lawyer representing ABC argued that the three-day suspension was not part of the state’s regulatory scheme.

“We are fine to pay the fine,” the lawyer said, but stressed that the suspension was not mandatory.

“This is the first time my client has been here for 49 years,” he said. “This suspension of the sale of all tobacco products closes them for three days. I guess this is not what the statute and CMR (Code of Mass. Regulations) provide. In addition, he will be “on probation for three years.”

The council then heard DJ .Wilson from Massa. Municipal Assoc. (who was present on another issue), who suggested to the board that a suspension was required by law, which could be up to 30 days.

However, ABC’s lawyer replied that a three-day suspension was not mandatory under the CMR.

“I guess closing my client’s business is ‘above’ and more than necessary to send them a message. It’s unjustifiably harsh, “he added, noting that unlike a typical store, where tobacco sales could account for 10 percent of its revenue, all of its customer’s work will be suspended for three days.

However, Bunker replied: “As a doctor, I know from my practice that when you introduce tobacco to such a young child (the Six City Initiative conducted a” controlled buying “operation with 16-year-olds), it can lead to long-term dependence.

“It’s rude, I understand that, but at the same time we voted as a board to make a three-day suspension,” Bunker said. “We talked about a 30-day stop, but we stopped at a three-day stop, similar to what other cities do. I think we follow the law. “

The lawyer then requested that the suspension be imposed not on consecutive days, but for a certain period of time.

“By closing them down, you are taking away 100 percent of the business of this business,” the lawyer said.

After Buck clarified that the board did not specify that the penalty was for three consecutive days, when the board voted to make a three-day suspension for the first offense, Bunker offered ABC 60 days to take the three-day suspension.

Board members agreed and voted to allow ABC to have 60 days to accommodate the three-day loss of license.

The board then heard a presentation by Wilson and Lisa Stevens-Goodnight to the Massachusetts Association and Bonnie Carroll of the Six-City Tobacco Initiative (of which Revere is a member) to update regulations restricting the sale of tobacco and vape products in order to bring national legislation, CMR and local regulations in accordance with each other.

Wilson and Stevens-Goodnight went through the intricacies of regulatory differences at the state, local and regulatory levels and left it to the board to decide on their new regulations.

Bunker said the matter would be referred to the city’s attorney for his opinion.

The Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed regulations at its next meeting in July.

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