The town of Newburyport, Mass. is the latest to join the movement of municipalities raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products. On Tuesday, the town’s board of health voted to raise the threshold from 18 to 19 years of age, with the change set to go into effect on July 1.

Several public hearings were held in advance of the vote, which was originally slated to raise the minimum age to 21. Cries from local businesses that the move would drive business out of town or across state lines resulted in a compromise at 19. The move is being pitched as a way to prevent those under 18 from asking friends to purchase tobacco products for them, saying that the increase creates a bigger difference.

According to, the city currently has 17 locations that are licensed to sell tobacco products, and with the change also comes limits on the number of stores that will be able to sell tobacco. Tobacco sales at pharmacies is now prohibited, as are smoking bars along with restrictions on the sale of inexpensive single cigars and electronic cigarettes.

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