Divided Massachusetts town to hold public hearing on 1st-in-nation tobacco ban

Government And Institutions Associated Press

Health officials in Westminster are holding a public hearing on a draft regulation that would make the central Massachusetts town the first in the nation to ban sales of all tobacco products.

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Westminster's Board of Health says it's expecting such a strong turnout, it will hold Wednesday evening's hearing in a school cafeteria rather than in its usual cramped conference room at Town Hall. A final decision is expected later.

Officials in the town of 7,700 say they're fed up with bubblegum-flavored cigars, electronic cigarettes and other products that appeal to young people. They say the easiest course of action is a total ban on sales within town lines.

The American Lung Association says Westminster would be the first community in the U.S. to take such sweeping action.