Vape shop owners at odds with Worcester health board

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Earlier this month, the Worcester Board of Health unanimously voted to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in the city from 18 to 21.

Worcester joins more than 100 communities in Massachusetts that have also raised the minimum tobacco-buying age to 21.

The change, which was described to the Sun by Karyn Clark, city director of Public Health, as part of several “strategies” to “reduce youth access” to tobacco, now has some Worcester business owners — namely vape shop owners — unsure of their prospects in the city.

Vaporize owner Adrian Pelka, right, talks with a customer Friday, June 24.

Matthew Wright / For Worcester Sun

Vaporize owner Adrian Pelka, right, talks with a customer Friday, June 24.

“Data and research show that an adolescent’s brain is still developing until they are in their 20’s and that delaying the onset on using tobacco products significantly reduces a person from starting this habit in the first place,” Clark said.


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