The Salem Board of Selectmen has made its city the first in the county to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 years of age to 21.
The board voted for the increase by a tally of three in favor to two opposed after hearing from approximately 15 community members, according to the Gloucester Times, most of whom spoke against the proposal. Opposition ranged from the fact that people would simply go to a neighboring town to purchase tobacco products, while others cited 18 as the age of adulthood, which includes going to war and voting, and as such should include being able to purchase tobacco.
Both traditional tobacco products and e-cigarettes, as well as any nicotine delivery product fall under the new age restrictions. Enforcement will be handled through a series of compliance checks, with violations including fines and suspensions of a retailer’s tobacco sales permit, including the revocation of a permit after three violations.
The date for the change has not yet been decided, and will be scheduled for a future board meeting.
Salem is home to approximately 42,000 residents.
Update (August 12, 2014): The original version of this story indicated that Salem was located in New Hampshire. It is is a city in Massachusetts.