The movement to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Massachusetts seems to have finally reached its biggest city, as Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh announced this week that he is formally proposing that the minimum age to purchase any tobacco product or electronic smoking device be raised from 18 to 21.
The mayor joined with the city’s public health commission in making the announcement, with the change coming as early as the end of the year. The Boston Board of Health will hold a public hearing on Dec. 3 and then vote on the idea at its Dec. 17 meeting. If approved, the changes could be in effect by March 2016.
In addition, people under 21 would be prohibited from entering retail tobacco shops or cigar bars, flavored tobacco products (other than menthol) would be limited to tobacco specialty retailers, and several regulations regarding the sale of tobacco would be streamlined.
Boston is home to just over 655,000 residents, while the surrounding metropolitan area has 4.6 million residents.