This week the Hopkinton, Mass. Board of Health rejected a proposal to increase the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21, rebuffing a campaign from a doctor who has been pushing cities and towns throughout the region to enact an age increase.

The board said that the matter is something for the town to weigh in on, according to a report on, with Board Chairman Mark Gates saying that it should go through a Town Meeting or similar process.

The proposal was brought by Dr. Lester Hartman, a Westwood, Mass. pediatrician who has persuaded a number of neighboring towns to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 19, or in some cases, to 21. The list who have raised the age to 21 includes Ashland, Arlington, Sharon, Dover, Dedham, Canton, Wellesley and Needham, while the towns of Walpole and Westwood have raised it to 19, Hartman told the site.

It was Hartman’s hometown of Needham that first raised the tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21 in 2005. He told the site that he has four more towns on his list and is working to get the state to raise the state to raise the minimum purchase age to 21.

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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 previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.