It took a year longer than some had hoped, but the Amherst, Mass. Board of Health has voted to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old.

The board voted unanimously Thursday night to pass the measure, though the date the change goes into effect was not immediately announced. The change into effect on Aug. 15, according to

Retailers will be subject to fines starting at $100 for selling to a purchase under 21, with the number escalating to $200 for a second offense and $300 for a third offense within three years. Repeat offenders are also subject to having their licenses revoked for seven and thirty days for second and third offenses, respectively.

A number of other minor and procedural changes pertaining to retailers were also passed.

Amherst is home to approximately 35,000 residents and is located about 90 miles west of Boston.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.