The Swansea Board of Health has approved an increase to the minimum age to purchase tobacco products ahead of the statewide increase, which will eliminate any exemptions for 19 and 20-year-olds.
It’s the latest in a number of towns and cities that are looking to close a loophole in the state’s upcoming increase. Under that law, individuals who have reached the age of 18 before Dec. 31, 2018 would be allowed to continue purchasing tobacco products, though they would be subject to any municipal ordinance or other regulation that prohibited sales of tobacco products or vapor products to persons under the age of 19, 20 or 21 in effect on Dec. 30, 2018, the date Swansea’s increase goes into effect.
Just as with cities like Fall River and Hingham, Swansea’s ordinance ensures that anyone who attempts to purchase tobacco products in the city as of Jan. 1 will have to be at least 21-years-old, and eases the burden on retailers to have to determine whether someone is of age.
Additionally, the board approved a ban on the sale of blunt wraps and a prohibition on the distribution of free samples of tobacco products.
Swansea is located in the southeastern part of the state, just over 50 miles south of Boston, and is home to approximately 16,500 residents.