Tobacco is the talk of the town in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, with the town council considering becoming the first in the state to ban tobacco sales.
The controversial proposal came in the form of a zoning ordinance that was introduced by Councilor William Wood. In the explanation section of the ordinance, he wrote:
“Tobacco in any form has a negative effect on the health of our Town. Bridgewater should be a leader and ban the retail sales of this product to protect the health and well-being of its citizens.”
The push for a ban has smoke shops in town fuming, including the owner of Brennan’s on Broad Street. Nancy Brennan Monks says the town should butt out of her business.
“Just because they don’t like the color pink does not mean you can’t wear it anymore,” Brennan Monks said. “I’m really baffled by this and will do everything in my power to keep my legal business in tact.”
The discussion is just beginning with the proposal on the agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting at the Memorial Building.
Town Manager Michael Dutton wants to make it clear, if it were to pass, businesses like Brennans would be grandfathered in.
“We would only be able to forbid new applicants from getting a license to sell tobacco,” Dutton said.
Ultimately it will be up to the town council, who voted a few years ago to raise the tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21. The process before the ban is voted on includes a committee and a public hearing.
Representative from Brennan’s planned to show up Tuesday night to make sure their voices are heard.