Massachusetts Senate Votes to Raise Tobacco Buying Age to 21

The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would raise the statewide age for buying tobacco from 18 to 21.

The bill would also ban smoking of e-cigarettes in places where cigarettes are currently banned, such as on school grounds. It would prohibit pharmacies and health care institutions from selling tobacco.

“This bill will not only protect our young people from beginning a dangerous addiction to tobacco, but it includes safeguards for public health by restricting the use of e-cigarettes and the public’s exposure to e-cigarette emissions,” said Jeff Seyler, of the American Lung Association.

Someone who is over 18 but under 21 before the law goes into effect, on Dec. 31, 2018, would be grandfathered in and would still be allowed to buy tobacco products.

The Senate vote was 33-3. The three no votes were all Republicans — Don Humason, of Westfield, Ryan Fattman, of Webster and Dean Tran, of Fitchburg.

The Massachusetts House already passed a similar bill in May.

There are differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill that will have to be reconciled before it reaches Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk.

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Jun 28, 2018