Last night, the Hingham, Mass. Board of Health voted to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products and electronic cigarettes by one year, upping it from 18 to 19 years of age.
There had been a call to raise it to 21, but the agreed upon age was described as being more likely to pass and agreed to as a compromise, according to the Patriot Ledger, with board member Kirk Shilts saying that the change helps gets tobacco products out of the town’s high school, a sentiment echoed by other board members.
The change will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.
It’s also the first piece of legislation for electronic cigarettes, which had previously been unregulated as far as who could buy them and where they could be used. The board is currently said to be looking at developing regulations that would make e-cigarettes subject to the same laws as tobacco as far as where the devices could be used.
Hingham joins nearby Hull in passing an age increase, with that town upping the minimum purchase age to 21 while also banning smoking in parks. The parks smoking ban went into effect in Hull on Nov. 1, while the age increase goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.
A similar change went into effect in another Boston suburb recently, as Braintree, Mass. upped the minimum purchase age to 21 in June, with the change effective as of Oct. 1.
Hingham has a population of just over 22,000 people and is located about 12 miles southeast of Boston.