By Christina Hager, WBZ-TVBy Christina Hager

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.”

Christina Hager

Comments (21)
  1. Cynic says:

    People are beginning to see the stupidity of this insane Hysteria about Smoking. Everywhere but Hopkinton… Except for Jo Dee Messina being from there has anyone ever heard of Hopkinton?

    1. tired of snow says:

      Jo Dee Mssina is from Holliston, go back to your hole.

      1. Cynic says:

        Holliston? Really? Thats sad,Now theres NO reasonfor anyone to have heard of Hopkinton.Incidently I have seen Jo Dee perform 100 times…..She is great.

      2. Cynic says:

        tired of snow…. I’ve had a couple of more thoughts on this subject. I’ve seen Jo Dee many times,mostly in Nashville. I saw a special on her. I think it was TNN or CMT,I’m not sure which.She has a great family. Her Mom is Super.,and her relationship with her neighbor after her accident is fantastic. The special showed Holliston as a good place to be from. Now that I think about it…. How could I confuse it with Hopkinton.

  2. Ron says:

    What a great laugh for my Wednesday morning. The more laws solution always fixes everything. By any chance do any of these pols also believe the myth that Joe Camel caused teens to smoke?

    I am deeply concerned that Hopkinton has maintained a police force for so long that has had no other responsibilities. I could be wrong about that, I’m just guessing based upon a law that would place a sizable burden on any other police force. Or is it their plan that the teens will just go to other towns and thus free up the police for other work?

  3. ed wallace says:

    wait till the town has to hire hire fireman due to all the brush fires this will cause because kids will be smoking in the woods

  4. Cracker says:

    Next the board of health will be confiscating coke and Doritos from the kids.

    1. Ron says:

      All brown bag lunches will be checked to make sure none exceed the maximum allowable calories. Athletes will allowed an exemption, but only on game days and only if they’ve filled out the proper paperwork and paid for their Calorie License.

  5. dave says:

    can i just point out that twenty-five thousand dollars is A LOT of money. good luck passing a bill with that fine!

    1. Cynic says:

      Thanks Dave…You just helped me to write a great song…. I’m going to call it “What A Difference A Comma Makes”…… Maybe I can get Dinah Washington to sing it.

  6. Cynic says:

    WOW ! Eight against,none for….. Now thats progress.

  7. DStein says:

    Wait just a minute here. Isn’t this law redundant with existing State laws banning kids under 18 from smoking/chewing tobacco? Smacks of the Arizona immigration law being redundant with Federal law. We can’t have that. Somebody better tell Hopkinton they can’t pass their own bylaw just because the Commonwealth of Taxachusetts isn’t enforcing theirs. Imagine that, despite a heavy tax on tobacco products and all those millions of dollars in settlement money from tobaccco products manufacturers, Massachusetts STILL doesn’t have enough money to enforce tobacco laws.

    Yeah, in Hopkinton, kids can legally possess small amounts of marijuana of course, but not tobacco. Only in Massacusetts do we want our kids to have an addiction to illegal drugs rather than legal nicotine. We’ll rat them out to their parents because they got caught smoking a cigarette, but not if they got an abortion or took advantage of the free condoms at school. That’s none of our parental business! But SMOKING?

    The bigger question is where are underage kids buying this stuff? Why isn’t the Hopkinton Board of Health conducting stings to ensure local cigarette vendors are complying with the law not to sell to underage kids? That’s what my community and surrounding communities do. Vendors that are repeat offenders face an escalating fine schedule and the risk of losing their ability to sell tobacco products.

  8. Tortuga says:

    I think this is an excellent idea. This would create a status for tobacco equal to alcohol. It is illegal for minors to buy and consume alcohol. It should be no different for tobacco. If we ban the purchase, then we should ban the consumption. After all, the purpose of banning tobacco purchases by minors is to keep minors from consuming it. There is obviously a loop hole allowing minors to cirumvent that purpose, and it should be closed.

    I see no Big Brother or other government over reach here. Rather I see a common sense initiative to keep our kids healthy. I’m glad to see both kids and adults supporting it. Good luck!

    1. Cynic says:

      This could be true IF Smoking had any effect on thier health.

      1. Kid Cody says:

        You are very dumb. Fo’ real.

  9. Laughable says:

    Looks like HPD needs something new to crack down on now that everyone found their speed traps. This bylaw is overly aggressive and will, yet again, give the kids in the high school a reason to hate on the police. I can see cracking down on illegal substances, but cigarettes? Besides, Hopkinton has more problems to worry about with the youth in their town than cigarette usage; maybe its time the town realized that to0.

  10. emom says:


  11. Kid Cody says:

    YO Its infant and kid cody packing lips everyday

  12. Cheri says:

    The worse DNA damage happens to a person who smokes at the youngest age. Breast cancer, bladder cancer, diabetes, fields of cancerization in the lungs, smphysema (you can’t inhale acetone and not expect it to dissolve the delicate tissues of the alveoli), and tongue cancer. A single cigarette in a healthy young man decreases circulation to the fingertips by over 40% setting the young person up for heart disease, stroke, and impotence. Making sure that the parent is aware that their child is ruining their health before they are old enough to decide that they buzz they are getting from tobacco is worth dying a slow and painful death seems reasonable to this respiratory therapist who has never had a patient tell me that smoking was worth the suffering it eventually causes.

    1. Cynic says:

      This would be scary if any of it were true. Have you done any research on the REAL effects of ALCOHOL?

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