Concord Considers Banning Sale of Tobacco Products at Convenience Stores

Proponents of a ban think it could help keep cigarettes out of the hands of children, while convenience store owners are concerned about the impact on their businesses.

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A Massachusetts town is considering a ban on the sale of tobacco products outside smoke shops.

The Concord Board of Health is discussing whether to ban all 14 of the town's convenience stores from selling cigarettes, cigars and other products.

Under the proposal, such products could only be sold at smoke shops to people 21 or older.

Dozens of people signed up to speak both for and against the proposed ban.

"I'm concerned," said Rogers Bush, who owns a 7-Eleven store in town. "At 69 years old, I'm not ready to retire."

"I think it would be very effective," said Tina Grosowski, who is in favor of the ban. "Essentially, then, the tobacco products wouldn't be in the stores, where the young people are exposed to them when they go and buy the chips and the gum."

But for Bush, who estimates tobacco products make up 24% of his business, this could mean the end of a store he started nearly 47 years ago.

"Without the adult tobacco customers, our business is no longer viable," he said.

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