HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Senate is talking about raising the age to buy tobacco products to 21- years-old.
The current age to buy tobacco products in Massachusetts is 18-years-old, but dozens of towns and cities have changed the age to 21-years-old.
Supporters of the change are saying it could help discourage younger adults from smoking, but critics of the proposal are arguing if you can vote and enlist in the military at 18-years-old you should be able to make your own decisions about smoking.
The age change has gained support from Governor Charlie Baker, but he said he would need to see the final draft of the bill before signing it.
If it does go through, the new law would take effect January 1st. Anyone who has already turned 18-years-old by then is exempted.
Some of the western Massachusetts communities who have already made the change include Holyoke, Amherst, Greenfield and South Hadley have raised the age to 21. Boston has also changed the age to buy tobacco products to 21.
Under the state’s proposal, if stores owners are caught selling tobacco to a minor they could face a fine of $100- $300.
If this law is passed is would make Massachusetts only the second state in the U.S. to make that change.