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Massachusetts Poised to Become Sixth State to Raise Tobacco Age to 21

Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, issued a press release thanking Rep. Paul McMurtry and Sen. Jason Lewis for their leadership in sponsoring legislation that prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21 and includes other important public health protections.

With final passage by the Legislature today, Massachusetts is poised to become the sixth state to prohibit the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21.  This legislation will prevent young people in Massachusetts from starting to use tobacco, save lives and help make the next generation tobacco-free.

In addition to raising the tobacco age to 21, the Massachusetts legislation prohibits pharmacies from selling tobacco products and adds e-cigarettes to the state’s smoke-free law. Massachusetts will be the first state to enact a statewide prohibition on tobacco sales in pharmacies. In his press release, Myers highlights the importance of this legislation to Massachusetts:

“In Massachusetts, tobacco kills over 9,300 people and costs over $4 billion in health care expenses each year. Without additional action to reduce tobacco use, over 100,000 kids alive today in Massachusetts will die prematurely from smoking. Increasing the tobacco age to 21 is a critical step in reducing and eventually eliminating tobacco’s terrible toll.”

After two years of debate, Sitka’s tobacco age goes to 21

The age to buy tobacco in Sitka will be going up, if an ordinance passed by the Sitka Assembly this week survives a second reading.

There was broad support for the local initiative — called Tobacco 21 — after the assembly’s concerns were addressed over how to deal with the 19-to-20 year olds who are already hooked on smoking.

Tobacco 21 is a statewide policy in 4 states — Oregon, California, Maine, and New Jersey — and it’s likely to pass the Massachusetts legislature in the near future. Elsewhere around the nation, including Sitka, advocates for increasing the age to purchase tobacco to 21 are concentrating on local policy. The Sitka Health Needs and Human Services commission drafted language to increase the age in Sitka from 19 to 21 in 2016.

Survey Finds E-Cigarettes are Problem in Ridgefield

Even before they surveyed hundreds of residents on the issue, high-schoolers Mitchell van der Noll and Aiden Williams knew e-cigarettes was a growing problem among teenagers in town.

The high school seniors, who distributed the survey as interns with Town Hall this spring, said the number of students using the devices has “exploded” over the last year or two.

Students can be found smoking e-cigarettes in the high school bathrooms, in the parking lots, at parties outside of school and most recently, at the middle schools, they said. Most use the newest device, a Juul vape pen.

“It kind of came out of nowhere,” Williams said. “You can see anyone from any social group using them at kind of any time. If you go into the bathroom at the high school there’s probably a greater than 50 percent chance you would find someone (smoking).”

The survey, distributed on a community Facebook page, revealed that Ridgefielders are taking notice. More than 39 percent of the 240 people surveyed said e-cigarettes surpass alcohol, heroin, marijuana and cocaine as the “most relevant substance abuse problem in our community today.”

About 97 percent said they have heard of the “widespread usage amongst teenagers” and almost 91 percent that they knew about high schoolers vaping in bathrooms during school.

Is Tobacco 21 The Solution To Colorado’s Wave Of Teen Vaping?

Colorado tops 37 other states for e-cigarette use among high school students, according to a national school-based survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than a quarter of Colorado high schoolers currently use e-cigarettes and almost 6 percent say they use them frequently.

The state had a high vaping prevalence, but Alison Reidmohr, tobacco communication specialist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, was “surprised to see the highest in the nation.” She noted it’s nearly double the national average, and appears to be driven by the popularity of the Juul brand.

The finding, based on states that participated in the survey and had available data, coincides with a push in several Colorado mountain towns to raise the minimum age for tobacco and nicotine purchases.

Dover to Raise Tobacco Age to 21, First in N.H.

The Garrison City will become the first municipality in the state to raise the age to legally possess, use and purchase tobacco products in Dover to 21 years old.

The City Council voted to approve the ordinance change on a 6-1-2 vote, with Ward 4 Councilor Marcia Gasses voting no, Mayor Karen Weston recusing, and Ward 6 Councilor Matthew Keane absent from the meeting.

Members of Dover Youth to Youth had brought forward the resolution and asked Weston to sponsor it, which she agreed to do. Weston recused herself from the discussion and vote to avoid a conflict of interest as the store she co-owns with her family sells cigarettes.

Three members of Dover Youth to Youth, Hannah Martuscello, Olivia Malone and Elsa Rogers, spoke on behalf of the ordinance during its public hearing before the council vote at Wednesday’s council meeting. They said the by raising the age from 18 years old to 21 to purchase, possess and use tobacco would increase the health and safety of the youth in the city. While they noted that tobacco use has been on the decline for years, there has been an increase in e-cigarette use, which has become an issue at the high school bathrooms, they said.

2 days ago


Massachusetts now only needs the signature of Governor Charlie Baker to pass T21 statewide.

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Massachusetts now only needs the signature of Governor Charlie Baker to pass T21 statewide.

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More freedoms being restricted, awesome. #ILoveAmerica

Waste of effort, I’ve seen teens out in front of high school smoking yards away from local police who did nothing , at the same time we fine a shop owner for selling to minors , crazy

This isn't going to prevent a thing.

That's total B.S.. They want too do that, they better raise the age for signing up for the draft too!!!!!! "F" these politicians that seem to know better.

18 year olds. Old enough to fight in a war, join a police academy, get into professional drag racing, learn to fly a private plane, or even be an EMT. But buying alcohol or cigarettes? Not if Big Brother has anything to say about it.

Got to vote these people out, term limits, don't vote them.back

If you want this you are the problem with this country

Sadly, it is a Freedom to burn your lungs with tobacco smoke.

21 smoking age statewide would be a great thing for Massachusetts. This will save lives in the long run. Yahoo !

What a joke ,,more laws


Didn't we already do this?

Stupid government

Yes it does Epie Heim.

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5 days ago


The Kent City Council in Ohio approved T21!

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The Kent City Council in Ohio approved T21!

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Whatever happened to living in America, a free nation based upon the tenet of "Do as thou wilt, but bring harm to none (other)"? When was it that a Constitutional Republic could be utilized to limit the rights of the individual? I am anti-tobacco, but I am pro-choice and pro-freedom.

T21 laws combine with STEEP & IMMEDIATE increases in tobacco taxes for a tobacco-free generation. #BeTheFirst By a unanimous vote: Teenagers, aka children, on allowances and twentysomethings in entry level jobs are easily priced 💵 out of the tobacco market, and by the time their salaries increase later in life they are past the age when 95% of nicotine substance abusers start 🚬 smoking. Teen smoking is furnished by both illegal sales of tobacco to minors and tobacco supplied to minors by older friends, therefore, raising the purchase-use-possess tobacco age to 21 puts the sources outside the circle of friends of high school kids. T21 helps cut the supply of cigarettes to underage smokers: '95 percent of adult smokers started smoking before age 21. Tajh, 19, is not surprised to hear that. He said he often gets asked by his underage peers to buy them cigarettes, and it gives him chills everytime. He became slightly emotional when talking about how one of his friends approached him with that request. "Eventually, I did tell him, 'No,' " Tajh said. "But the mere fact that he asked me -- it's hard." Kyleel Iniguez said it is crucial that more teenagers speak loudly and publicly on this issue, because public information campaigns ...are not as personal and influential as peers.' Juul Labs announced support for raising the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21.

So basically we are telling adults how to live there lives that they can be drafted into warbut you can buy a pack of cigs good job America

I like how at 18 people can join the military, go thousands of dollars in debt in school, be in a pornographic movie, pay taxes, go to jail, yet we say they can't buy alcohol or cigarettes? C'mon now, either we need to make everything 18, or everything 21.

Ridiculous. Gotta be 18 to own your own vehicle, own a house, join the military, and vote etc. But 21 to choose to buy cigarettes?! Seriously?

So go to the next town, and buy your cigarettes at 18, and there is nothing Kent can do about it.

When do we raise the military service age to twenty-one?

Good now work on alcohol to 30 .

Awesome! Bring it on !

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