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Thanks to a new round of grants from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Holyoke's Board of Health has joined a coalition of other area communities to restart tobacco compliance monitoring that was scrapped last year.
The city is joining the Mount Tom Tobacco Control Coalition and adopting new, tougher regulations that could lead to revocation of tobacco sale permits for four-time violators. South Hadley, Easthampton, Northampton, Granby, Southampton and Hatfield are also coalition members, according to a MassLive.com report..
Health Director Daniel B. Bresnahan said three part-time inspectors, also approved by the board, will monitor tobacco sales to minors. The inspectors also will perform compliance checks on city bars and restaurants subject to a state ban on workplace smoking.
First-time violators of cigarette sales to minors will be fined $100. A second violation within 18 months will trigger a $200 fine and a seven-day suspension of the tobacco sales permit. A third violation within 24 months would result in a $300 fine and a 30-day permit suspension. If a vendor continues tobacco sales while on suspension, the permit would be permanently suspended.