At its most recent meeting, the Fall River Board of Health voted unanimously to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old, with the increase scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 30, just ahead of the state’s increase and which ensures that the age will apply to all purchasers.
Because of the way the state’s increase was written, individuals who attained the age of 18 before Dec. 31, 2018 would be allowed to continue purchasing tobacco products, though they would be subject to any municipal ordinance or other regulation that prohibited sales of tobacco products or vapor products to persons under the age of 19, 20 or 21 in effect on Dec. 30, 2018. Fall River’s ordinance ensures that anyone who attempts to purchase tobacco products as of Jan. 1 will have to be at least 21-years-old, and eases the burden on retailers to have to determine whether someone is of age.
A number of cities have been passing similar legislation as of late in order to standardize the minimum age ahead of the new year, including Hingham, Dighton and Swansea.
Fall River is home to just under 90,000 residents and is located 55 miles south of Boston.