WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Town Health Director Shelly Newhouse announced some noteworthy changes to the town’s Board of Health regulations at this week’s Board of Selectmen Meeting.
“I’m here tonight to let the Board of Selectmen know, and the community know, that the Board of Health recently adopted some new regulations,” Newhouse began.
Flavored Tobacco Ban
“We added Section 8.24, which prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco products [except in retail tobacco stores]. None of the other stores in Wilmington, as of October 15, can sell jewels, e-cigarettes, vaping liquid, flavored blunts, etc,” said Newhouse. “I feel like kids are mainly getting these things from Amazon, but anything we can do as a community to stop these products from being on the shelves. Starting October 15, you’ll slowly start seeing these things removed from the shelves.”
“We’ve talked to some of the retailers. They’ve gotten notice. They’re actually pretty receptive to it,” added Newhouse.
“I appreciate your efforts in trying to keep our young people in town safe,” Selectman Greg Bendel told Newhouse.
Limit On Number Of Tobacco Sale Permits
“We also added section 8.25, which allows us to limit the number of tobacco sale permits in Wilmington,” said Newhouse. “Right now, we have 21 tobacco sale permits. And that’s all there ever will be. The only way to get a new tobacco sale permit in the future is for someone to close up shop, creating an available permit.”
“These changes are in line with most of the towns in the commonwealth,” Newhouse said in response to a question from Selectman Ed Loud. “Communities are really trying to push to raise the minimum age for smoking to 21, which we did last year. Now with the e-cigarettes, we’re just seeing more and more kids using them. If you go into your local gas station, they’re all over the shelves for kids to see.”
“The State of Massachusetts wants every Board of Health to come up with regulations regarding RDNA (Recombinant DNA),” explained Newhouse. “RDNA is not very exciting –think of it as gene theraphy. Companies use it for research and technology, trying to manipulate genes to come up with new pharmeutical products to fight diseases.”
“These regulations really help us keep track of the companies in town that are doing this work. Some of this work could be hazardous to the community. There’s certain levels of laboratory science that these companies use and we’re trying to limit what comes in to town,” added Newhouse, who has identified two companies in town that use RDNA — Charles River Labs and ChemGenes — and believes there may be two additional companies.
“There’s a permit application that will be created. There will be plans that these companies will have to give the Board of Health explaining what kind of RNDA work they’re doing,” said Newhouse.
A new permit fee for RDNA activity is $500, which is consistent with the fees from other towns in the area. There will be also be a $100 renewal fee.
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