BROOKLINE (CBS) - A newly implemented ordinance in Brookline aims to take on tobacco and vaping - simply by not adding to the problem.
"It's a gradual approach to solving a problem most of us agree is a big problem," said family law professor and co-sponsor Kate Silbaugh.
As of this fall, there legally cannot be new users. No one born after January 1, 2000 will ever be allowed to buy tobacco products in Brookline.
"[The tobacco industry is] always trying to figure out how to get new users and particularly target people who are vulnerable - either by age or understanding of the damages," said co-sponsor Anthony Ishak, who lives in Brookline and works as a pharmacist.
The ordinance does not affect existing users or business.
"It leaves them alone. It says we know you would like to quit. We're not trying to pick on you because we know it's incredibly hard to quit," said Silbaugh.
That's something many young people have already seen firsthand - in older relatives and peers.
"Both of my grandparents smoked their entire life and one of them passed away from lung cancer. It's really hard to quit," said a young Brookline resident.
"Every time somebody tells them, 'hey you need to stop smoking,' it's not that easy. Maybe stopping it from the root is great?" her friend added.
Up the street and anyplace else in Massachusetts, tobacco is legal for adults 21 and older. This parent pointed out a lot of communities would have to follow suit for this to work.
"It does sound a bit draconian. But yeah, with little kids I'd prefer they stay away from tobacco personally. There are enough dangers in the world," the father said.
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