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Adams Board Of Health Eye E-Cigarette Ban

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Health is looking at bumping up the town tobacco policy to restrict electronic cigarettes.

According to Northern Berkshire Tobacco-Free Community Partnership Project Coordinator Joan Rubel, the products have just recently been introduced to the county and do not fit tobacco regulations — including being exempt from tobacco taxes, which make the devices more affordable.

"They haven't been approved for use by our public health community," Rubel said Wednesday. "Right now, the way most tobacco regulations are written, they are not covered unless a town or a city has taken action to cover them. Down the road all of this may be fixed but meanwhile, how many people will become addicted to nicotine through this device? How many kids go back to thinking it's glamorous to see this behavior?"

The device vaporizes a nicotine solution that the user inhale. The Food and Drug Administration is not currently regulating its sale or usage. Rubel said the solutions come in various flavors, can be used inside public buildings and are not age-restricted.

The device is being marketed in different ways, Rubel said. Many companies view it as a safer way to smoke; some see it as a tool to quit smoking; while some companies market it as a way to smoke in smoke-free areas. Companies sell the solution in flavors and with different levels of nicotine.

"I'm an ex-smoker and I know you start out light and then want more and more and more," Board of Health member Roy Thompson said. "I see it as a starter kit."

Thompson argued that it is not intended to help smokers quit but instead "corporate America" is using the loopholes to grow a sales base.


Rubel agreed that it could be used as a tool to quit smoking but added there is currently not enough evidence to support that claim. Too little is known about the amounts of nicotine in the solution or what other chemicals are there, she said.

"They're out on the market without a lot of science," Rubel said.

There has been an array of nicotine products hitting the market in response to a growing smoke-free culture, she said. The device has entered the county only recently with booths selling them at the Berkshire Mall.

Rubel gave the board a model tobacco regulation it could adopt that would restrict the sale and usage of electronic cigarettes. The template was given to Rubel by D.J. Wilson, tobacco control director for the Massachusetts Municipal Association, and can be tweaked to fit the town's wants. It is not easy to just add the electronic cigarettes into the current policy, Rubel said.

For most of the board, Wednesday was the first time they had heard of the product. Members said they will do more research into the product before taking any action.
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Adams Selectmen Hear From Ale House Owner

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff

Nate Girard explains his predicament to the Selectmen on Wednesday.
ADAMS, Mass. — Nate Girard and his longtime friend Erik Pizani decided to buy the Saint Stanislaus Kostka Hall in 2012. The property had a rich history in town and most people had memories of bowling, playing pitch, attending a wedding, or just sitting at an old red leather stool and enjoying a cheap beer.
 
The two partners, along with another investor, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars bringing the structure up to code and restoring the bar and kitchen. The Adams Ale House was born. Both of them ran the restaurant, bought houses, had kids, went into real estate together, and celebrated the boom and even the bust times. 
 
Pizani eventually left the restaurant business and left Girard as the sole owner of the building. Girard decided to lease the restaurant space to focus solely on real estate and his young family. The new operators didn't last long in a tough restaurant market and went out of business in December 2018.
 
The building on East Hoosac Street has sat unused since then. Girard has it listed it on several sources and is still hopeful he can find a taker. The idle liquor license he still holds, however, has become an issue for the town.
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