Nowhere in the United States has there been more debate and action about raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco than in the state of Massachusetts.
Tomorrow, members of the Massachusetts Senate will once again take up a proposal to change the law statewide. While over 100 towns and cities throughout the commonwealth have changed their own laws to require individuals to be 21 to purchase tobacco, statewide efforts have so far failed.
S.1178 would raise the minimum age from 18 to 21 to purchase all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. Those found in violation would be subject to $100 for the first offense, $200 for a second offense and $300 for any subsequent offense.
Interestingly, the new law would still allow for those under the age of 21 to possess tobacco, though giving tobacco to anyone under the age of 21 would be illegal except for parents or guardians.
A hearing is scheduled for the matter tomorrow. Last year, the bill did not receive a formal vote because of disagreements in the Massachusetts House.