Nowhere in the country has the fight to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco been more active than Massachusetts and now there’s a bill that is trying to raise the age on a statewide level, again.
Sen. Cynthia S. Cream, D-Newton, has introduced S.747, a bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21. More than 50 municipalities across the state have raised the minimum purchasing age on a local level in large part thanks to the efforts of Dr. Lester Hartman and Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, two pediatricians in the commonwealth who have lobbied for the legislation on a city-by-city basis for the last few years.
The bill is currently in the Joint Judiciary Committee.
While Massachusetts is the hotbed of the new purchasing age changes, largely because of the localized approach, Hawaii is likely to become the first state where purchasing tobacco will be illegal for those under the age of 21. A bill passed the state senate earlier this year and is expected to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.