Scott Allen, Chief of Police
153 Central St.
East Bridgewater, MA 02333
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018
Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
East Bridgewater Police Investigating Business that Allegedly Sold Nicotine Products to Minors
EAST BRIDGEWATER — Chief Scott Allen reports that the East Bridgewater Police Department is investigating a business in town after the owner allegedly sold nicotine products to minors during a compliance check last week.
Within the past several months, East Bridgewater Police have received several complaints about nicotine, e-cigarette and vaping products allegedly being sold to minors at Vape Solutions, 687 North Bedford St.
In response to the citizen complaints, last week the East Bridgewater Police Department set up an operation similar to compliance checks for businesses with liquor licenses.
On Friday, Dec. 14, three minors were sent into the store and were able to purchase a box of Juul Pods for $15 from the clerk, who is also the business owner. The owner allegedly did not ask for identification from any of the teens and sold them the product.
An East Bridgewater Police officer waiting outside of the business then took the product from the teens and went into the store to speak with the owner.
While the incident remains under investigation, criminal charges will be filed from the East Bridgewater Police Department and further action is being reviewed by town officials against the business.
“We have heard from concerned parents and school officials in the Bridgewaters and Whitman area that this store was allegedly the place for kids to buy tobacco and nicotine products without being asked for identification,” Chief Allen said. “Following the compliance check last week we will continue to investigate this matter and charges will be filed.”
The issue of vaping is a priority of the town’s school-police coalition, which recently announced a campaign, in concert with EB HOPE, against vaping, bullying, drug abuse and school violence called the One Voice Campaign. The nationwide rate of vaping and e-cigarette use among high school students has been rising sharply over the past two years, according to federal health officials. In January, the legal age for purchasing tobacco, nicotine and vaping products in Massachusetts will be raised from age 18 to 21.
East Bridgewater Police encourage anyone with information about locations that sell vaping devices, Juuls, nicotine products, or tobacco products including cigarettes to under-aged youths to contact the department’s Detective Division at 508-378-7223.
These are allegations. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.