As the summer heat begins to subside, the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Worcester, Mass. will rise, as the city’s board of health voted unanimously on Wednesday to increase it to 21.

The change goes into effect on Sept. 1, and will add yet another city to the list who have increased the purchase age from 18, a list that stands at over 100 municipalities.

The age increase was the only proposal to be acted on during the board’s meeting, as they didn’t take action on a proposed restriction on the sale of flavored tobacco except in smoking bars and adult-only retail tobacco stores and a ban on the sale of single cigars, according to the Telegram & Gazette.

Once again, Dr. Lester Hartmann was at the center of the movement to increase the age, which he believes creates social distancing between young people and cigarettes.

The increase comes as the state is looking at passing an increase of its own, with the state senate approving the increase by a 32-2 vote in late April. It currently sits with the state house of representatives’ Health Care Financing committee.

Worcester is located less than 40 miles west of Boston and has a population of over 180,000 residents.

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.