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Hopkinton Looking To Stop Underaged Tobacco Use

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV

HOPKINTON (CBS) – The little town best known as the start of the Boston Marathon, is now trying to run out a problem that doesn’t jibe with its sporty image.

“You see kids around town smoking,” says Hopkinton mom, Jean Cann.

“You see kids using cigarettes…even middle school age,” says high school senior, Mary Kate Shanahan. She’s part of a local group pushing the town to adopt a new bylaw that would make smoking and chewing tobacco illegal for anyone under 18.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.

The law would have police confiscate tobacco from kids and call their parents. Repeat offenders would face fines of up to $25.00, community service, and anti-smoking classes. It would be a civil violation, not a criminal charge.

The group brought a doctor from Harvard Medical School to speak in favor of the plan at a board of selectmen’s meeting Tuesday night. But at least one member of the board is hesitant. “I can’t see being a community in the center of the state saying, ‘Go to the communities around us, because you can’t do it here'”, says Michelle Gates. “Make it less desirable, sometimes it has the opposite effect.”

Ipswich and West Bridgewater already have similar laws in place.

Shanahan wants Hopkinton to start the next wave. “I’m hoping that other towns will catch the buzz and see what we’re doing and join in.”

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