WESTMINSTER, Mass. — A public meeting on a central Massachusetts town’s proposed first-in-the-nation ban on tobacco and nicotine sales ended early Wednesday night because officials said the crowd was getting too unruly.

The three-member Westminster Board of Health, which proposed the ban, was escorted out by police. The board had asked the crowd to calm down so the dozens of people who signed up to speak could be heard.

Hundreds of people, many opposed to the ban, packed a school auditorium for the hearing. Some, carrying flags and protest signs, had taken part in a rally earlier.

The board says the ban would make it easier to keep tobacco and related products away from young people.

Many businesses oppose it, saying it wouldn’t stop tobacco use, but only drive away customers.