Montague, Mass., Adopts Stricter Tobacco Rules

Single cigars must be priced at $2.50 or more; multi-cigar packages must include at least four

MONTAGUE, Mass. -- The Montague, Mass., Board of Health has rolled out an updated list of regulations cracking down on underage tobacco use beginning October 1, reported WGGB-TV.

Electronic cigarettes for the first time fall under the same guidelines as other tobacco products, including their sale to anyone under 21 being prohibited. It is also limiting the number of permits to sell tobacco products in the town, said the report.

Current businesses with permits will not be affected, it added.

The second half of the updated regulations take effect beginning Feb. 13, 2013. These include tighter rules on the packaging and pricing of cigars.

"There's been some evidence and studies that really prove that the price point for younger people to buy tobacco does affect their willingness and ability to buy it, " Gina McNeely, director of public health for Montague, told the news outlet.

Single cigars will have to be priced at $2.50 or more. Multi-cigar packages will have to include at least four, the report said.

With a pack of cigarettes around $8, McNeely said the goal is to make mini-cigars, some as cheap as $1.38, less affordable. Also, she said that the packaging is often in colors such as pink, purple or yellow.

The Department of Public Health can't set rules about tobacco, though it can make recommendations for rules it thinks boards of health should adopt.