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Cambridge, Mass. bans e-cigs from restaurants

The Cambridge City Council passed last week a series of controversial amendments to the Cambridge Tobacco Ordinance, including an increase in the purchase age to 21 years old and limits on smoking in public parks and use of e-cigarettes, our partners at Wicked Local reported Tuesday.

The new ordinance won’t be implemented until June 1 after councilors asked for a grace period to educate store owners who sell tobacco products.

“We would try to identify businesses, send them a letter, like we did with the no smoking in restaurants,” City Manager Richard Rossi said Thursday, Jan. 29. “We really worked with people to educate them rather than punishing them, initially.”

The existing tobacco ordinance was ratified in 2003 after a long stakeholder process, establishing restrictions on public use and purchase of tobacco.

The Public Health Department had originally proposed a citywide ban on smoking in municipal open spaces and parks during an Oct. 30 Ordinance Committee meeting.

But the department offered a second option in December after members of the Ordinance Committee said at the October meeting that they would like to see an alternative for people who want to smoke in parks.

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