Statewide Purchasing Age Increase Proposed In Massachusetts


No state has been at the forefront of the debate over whether to increase the minimum purchasing of tobacco more than Massachusetts. Largely thanks to the committed efforts of one pediatrician, more than 20 communities in the state have raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 year of age.

Now there’s a chance Massachusetts could become the first state to make it illegal for those ages 18-20 to purchase tobacco.


Rep. Paul McMurty, D-Dedham, has proposed an amendment to H.4000, the state’s 2015 budget, that would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase tobacco in the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Fines of $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $300 for any offense thereafter would be issued to those responsible for selling or providing tobacco to individuals 18-20. It does not appear that it would make it illegal for those in Massachusetts to consume tobacco, so long as they are between the ages of 18-20.

It’s unclear what the chance of the amendments passage is, it’s one of nearly 1,200 currently attached to the House version of the budget.

Similar legislation was proposed in five states earlier this year: Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Utah and Vermont. None of the states passed any age changes.

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