Boston Stores To Limit Tobacco Ads

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino is urging convenience stores, gas stations
and liquor stores to adhere to city regulations limiting the
advertising of tobacco products to minors.

"We’ve done a great job in Boston of getting these stores to
comply with the law forbidding the sale of tobacco products to minors,"
Mayor Menino said during a press conference at a Tropic Food Market in
Dorchester, Mass. "Now it’s time for merchants to abide by the City’s
sign code that limits advertisements."

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The Boston mayor also called on neighborhood associations to help the
city enforce the code by reporting stores that appear to be in
violation to the Inspectional Services Department. Menino’s renewed
push comes on the heels of a study done by Sociedad Latina, a Latino
youth advocacy group partially funded by the City, that examined
tobacco, junk food, and alcohol advertising in stores around Boston,
the Associated Press reported.

The survey found that stores in low-income communities had more
advertisements than those in more affluent communities. Most of those
ads on the windows and doors were placed no higher than three feet, or
within eye-level of young children. The majority of the ads were for
tobacco products. In addition, the survey found that 34% of the tobacco
ads are in stores located near a school, a community center, or a
playground.

Boston’s sign code requires businesses to seek a permit to
install a permanent window sign, which cannot exceed 30 percent of the
total window space. A permit is not required for a temporary sign,
which can stay up for 15 days. But many businesses bypass the permit
process and keep the signs up longer than the code allows, the report
said.

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