Whately considers raising tobacco purchase age to 21

Whately wants the entire state to raise the minimum age to 21

WHATELY, Mass. (WWLP) –    Whately Town leaders are taking steps to join the growing list of  western Massachusetts communities raising the minimum age to purchase nicotine products.

The Whately Board of Health Wednesday night invited residents to offer their opinions on revising the tobacco sales regulation in town.

Only two people attended the meeting to voice their support for the proposal to increase the minimum age to 21, not just for cigarettes, but for e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco products that Health Board chairman Fran Fortino said is insidious and targets young people.

“They have delightful sounding flavors.  But the bite that comes at the end is the poison that we want to have people think about before they take up the habit,” Fortino said.

Fortino hopes the entire state goes this route.  He feels it’s an effective way to discourage young people from starting to smoke.  The Whately Health Board hearing took place on the same day that the “21-minimum age” to buy tobacco products went into effect in Greenfield.

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