Watertown pharmacies will soon be prohibited from selling Dunhill cigarettes and other tobacco products. The Watertown Board of Health voted unanimously on August 15 to ban the sale of smoking products at all health care institutions, like supermarkets that work pharmacies. “It sends the wrong message for health-care institutions, including pharmacies, to sell smoking products. Healthcare institutions are places that should be advertising health, and the harmful health effects of smoking are well known,” declared Watertown Director of Public Health Steven Ward in a research.

The board also voted to increase the minimum cigarettes sale age from 18 to 19, which will affect the 43 licensed tobacco retailers in town.

The “Regulation of the Watertown Board of Health Banning the Sale of Tobacco Products and Nicotine Delivery Products” will go into effect on Dec. 1, 2012. Pharmacies will be permitted to continue to sell nicotine patches and other FDA-approved substances for quit smoking habit. Boston was the first city in Massachusetts to ordain a similar law. Almost 32 per cent of Massachusetts is currently covered by similar ordinances.

Town Council President Mark Sideris argued that the two CVS pharmacies in Watertown will be affected by the new ban. He also added that he sent a letter to the Board of Health voicing his support for the smoking ban.