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Wallingford Considers Increasing Tobacco Age to 21

“The idea is on the table in Wallingford to raise the legal age to buy tobacco and e-cigarettes in order to combat the exploding popularity of the tobacco products among teens.

President of the Coalition for a Better Wallingford Ken Welch said vaping is an epidemic every parent should worry about.

“Thirty-five percent to 40 percent of our high schoolers are vaping,” he said. “We know middle school students are doing it on the bus. Kids are selling this stuff.”

He said e-cigarettes are highly addictive and dangerous.

“This is something the kids can do to get ‘high’ without their parents knowing about it.”

In Connecticut, the legal age to purchase tobacco, including e-cigarettes, is 18.

In October, Hartford City Council voted to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products there to 21. Now, Wallingford town council is considering a similar ordinance.

“I don’t know if it’s going to make much difference other than they won’t be able to buy them legally,” said Wallingford resident, Ralph Demusis.

“The longer you can hold them off from smoking the better off they are as far as I’m concerned,” Jim Craigen of Wallingford said.

At Silver City Vapors, co-owner Martin Pizzani said while he thinks the ordinance is well intentioned, it won’t work. Whether the legal age is 18 or 21, he said it should be consistent statewide.

“It’s very easy for underage kids to drive across town borders and go to the next town and buy stuff,” Pizzani said.

Wallingford town council plans to lay out more specifics of the proposed changes at their meeting tonight, and hopes to have a draft of the ordinance next month.”

Minimum Age To Buy Tobacco Now 21 In Massachusetts

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, DEC. 31, 2018 (State House News Service) — Nearly 14 years after Needham became the first town in the country to ban tobacco sales to people under 21, the higher purchase age for cigarettes and other tobacco productswill kick in across the state on Monday.

Gov. Charlie Baker in July signed a bill imposing new restrictions on tobacco products in Massachusetts, with an effective date of Dec. 31, 2018.

Along with raising the minimum age for buying tobacco products from its current 18, the law prohibits the sale of tobacco products by pharmacies and bans the use of e-cigarettes in places where state law already prohibits smoking.

The use of tobacco products including e-cigarettes will also be prohibited on the grounds of any public or private primary, secondary, or vocational school.

In a letter Thursday, Patricia Henley of the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Control Program advised licensed pharmacies of the new law, informing them that as of Monday health care institutions in Massachusetts will no longer be allowed to sell “tobacco products, including e-cigarettes or other similar products that rely on vaporization or aerosolization.”

“FDA-approved tobacco cessation products are exempted from this prohibition if they are marketed and sold exclusively for the approved purchase,” Henley wrote.

The definition of “health care institution” under the law “includes any larger retail space, including a department store or supermarket that has a pharmacy located within it,” the letter said.

The Department of Public Health on Monday plans to issue a reminder letter to retailers with information about the law and its new signage requirements. Local boards of health were notified in September of the law changes.