Northampton considering expanding tobacco restrictions - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Northampton considering expanding tobacco restrictions

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NORTHAMPTON, MA (WSHM) -

New proposed tobacco regulations in the city would be twofold.

While part of the rules would impact publicly-owned parks, the other would establish stricter rules to prevent the sale of tobacco products to children under the age of 18.

All was quiet Friday afternoon across Look Park, but there are plenty of signs.

One sign you will not see right now is a "no smoking" sign, but that could change if the city's board of health approves a new proposal.

The Northampton Board of Health told CBS 3 that the new rules would ban smoking in city-owned parks and playgrounds.

"I'm happy for it," said Pete Lingley, a West Springfield resident who was driving through Look Park. "I think there's nothing worse than when you see someone pushing a baby carriage or something, they flick their cigarette. It's kind of sad."

Lingley said he understands why some smokers would not be happy with the new rules.

"Since I don't smoke, it doesn't bother me," Lingley stated. "But if they told me I couldn't eat McDonald's in public, I'd probably be offended."

"I can understand it being in parks with recreation for children," said Raymond Howell.

Howell said he has been smoking for 40 years and makes the trip into the city from Hawley several times a year.

His sentiments about children being exposed to smoke are also echoed by city residents who smoke.

"They're small you know," said Joseph Losada, a resident of Florence. "I would not let my kids next to somebody that is smoking. If they can learn [from when] they're little, that would be better."

The Department of Public Health said its board will officially unveil a series of proposed amendments to its tobacco regulations at its meeting next month.

The department said not only would these rules affect cigarettes, they would also cover electronic cigarettes and medical marijuana.

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