Consider nicotine regulation

We are glad Nashua Board of Aldermen members on Tuesday voted to reject Ordinance 19-037, which would have made it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to possess any nicotine product. The final tallies were six votes in favor of approval and seven in opposition.

Members voting to increase the legal nicotine age from 18 to 21 Tuesday were:

• Richard Dowd

• Thomas Lopez

• Shoshanna Kelly

• Ernest Jette

• Mary Ann Melizzi-Golja

• David Tencza

Members voting against the ordinance were:

• Michael O’Brien

• Linda Harriott-Gathright

• Patricia Klee

• June Caron

• Jan Schmidt

• Ben Clemons

• Lori Wilshire

Aldermen Brandon Laws and Ken Gidge were not in attendance on Tuesday.

We opposed this ordinance because we believed it was too aggressive. The idea that Nashua police officers would be searching people – and issuing fines – simply for someone possessing cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco, or vaping products is rather ridiculous, in our opinion.

We continue to emphasize our belief that using tobacco or other nicotine is a terrible idea. Why anyone would want bad breath, ugly teeth or premature wrinkling. This doesn’t even account for numerous types of cancer one can get from tobacco use – or heart disease.

Nashua city leaders should consider a revised plan to raise the age for actually using, purchasing or selling nicotine products. We see this as different from imposing a first-offense fine of $50 on someone for merely having cigarettes that they legally purchased in another jurisdiction.