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North Adams Board of Health implements new smoking rules

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Albany/HV: North Adams Board of Health implements new smoking rules
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Smoke-free advocates in Berkshire County say 2012 was a good year, but it could get even better in 2013. YNN's Madeleine Rivera talked to the board of health director in North Adams about some of its new smoking rules for the New Year.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- On New Year's day, folks in North Adams are setting some new resolutions.

Manuel Serrano, from the city's Board of Health, says the department is working to make the city more smoke-free. It's implementing new smoking regulations.

"We developed these additional regulations to coincide with the regulations we already had," he said.

Some of the new rules include no smoking at city-sponsored events, no smoking at outdoor spaces in restaurants and the prohibition of electronic cigarettes where traditional smoking is not allowed.

"We think it's fair. But first and foremost, it protects the citizens of our community," said Serrano.

North Adams is just one city in Berkshire County cracking down on smoking. Great Barrington also recently banned e-cigarettes where smoking is prohibited. Serrano says electronic cigarettes which provide a vapor of liquid nicotine to the smoker is also dangerous.

"People don't realize that they can get nicotine through these electronic cigarettes," he said.

While Serrano says the board of health is not planning to ban the sale of e-cigarettes or other electronic nicotine devices, they are looking to control its sale the way that cigarettes are controlled right now.

"They're going to have to be behind the counter, they're going to have signage, they're going to have all the stuff in place as if they were selling cigarettes," said Serrano.

Just one of the ways they hope to curb smokers.

"We're hoping that people before they light up that cigarette at a playground or at a city function, they look around and see the kids, and they think twice before they do it," he said.

North Adams' new smoking rules will take effect January 1st.

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