GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Starting today, you have to be 21 or older to buy tobacco in Greenfield. Those new age restrictions could be costly for smoke shops.
The new regulations took effect Wednesday, July 1st. At The Enthusiast premium smoke and vape shop, manager Kaeli Wickline is afraid the 21-year-old age limit will cost her a good many customers. “It’ll affect our business drastically. You know, the three months we’ve been open, I would say 60 to 70 percent of our regular clientele is in the 18 to 20 year range.”
But not all young people in the age group smoke. 18-year-old Angela Debral told 22News she encounters very little smoking in the crowd she runs with. “A lot of my friends and people my age I know don’t really smoke very much, I don’t think it’ll affect people my age too much.”
When the Greenfield Board of Health raised the age limit to 21, they had in mind removing 18 and 19 year-old smokers from influencing much younger teens..
Former Board of Health chairwoman Janina Thayer said, ‘Tthey have access to the younger kids, because they get together in the schools.”
Thayer hopes the 21-year-old age limit goes statewide, as it has in Hawaii. Right now, 50 Massachusetts communities have adopted identical restrictions, several in western Massachusetts.