Posted by Jeremy Shulkin
From today’s T&G coverage of last night’s meeting, and Mike Germain’s decision to hold a vote on proposed amendments to the city’s tobacco ordinance:
District 2 Councilor Philip P. Palmieri, chairman of the council’s Public Health and Human Services Committee and an advocate of the stronger tobacco regulations, said he believes “outside influences” are playing a role in trying to block the ordinance on the council.
Rumors (now confirmed) circulated last night that a lobbyist with ties to Altria (formerly Philip Morris) was in the crowd. While we can’t say if that had any impact on holding the vote (Germain took exception to that in the T&G article — update: and it should be noted that there was a lot of confusion before the meeting about who was in support of the ban and who wanted to hold it), it does mean that the additional amendments to the local tobacco ordinance that would ban the sale of cigarettes in pharmacies and institutions of higher education, stop the sale of blunt wraps anywhere in the city and limit any tobacco advertisement from being seen from a public area have captured some very beyond-local attention.