Marion, Mass. has joined the growing list of cities to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, as the town’s board of health unanimously approved the change at its Jan. 26 meeting.
The change applies to all traditional tobacco products as well as electronic cigarettes and vaping devices. According to Sippican Week, there are six retailers in the town who sell tobacco or e-cigarette devices and will be affected by the change, which goes into effect on March 1.
Those retailers will face an escalating scale of fines for selling to a person under 21, as a first violation carries a $100 fine, while a second violation within 36 months would be $200, as well as a suspension for seven consecutive business days. Should a retailer sell to a person under 21 for a third time within 36 months, the fine increases to $300 and the tobacco sales permit will be suspended for 14 consecutive days.
Marion joins Wareham as the latest municipalities to increase the tobacco purchase age to 21, while the number of cities and towns that have increased the minimum age is just shy of 100. Norfolk has been reported to be on track to approve an increase in late February.
Marion is located on the southeast coast of the state, approximately 60 miles south of Boston, and is home to just under 5,000 residents.