Massachusetts lawmaker plans to re-ignite tobacco purchasing debate

Bill would increase the legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21

BOSTON (WWLP) – Many western Massachusetts communities already require people to be at least 21-years-old to buy tobacco, but Dedham State Representative Paul McMurtry wants to make it the statewide standard.

McMurtry wants to re-file a bill to align the tobacco purchasing age with recreational marijuana. Massachusetts voters legalized the use of recreational pot for adults over-21 in November.

An effort is underway to prohibit teens and 20-year-olds from buying tobacco, e-cigarettes and other nicotine products. You have to be 21-years-old to buy alcohol, to gamble and now to legally smoke pot.

Worthington State Representative Stephen Kulik believes it could cut down on young people starting to smoke; “The 14 and 15-year old friends would use their 18-year old friend to purchase products for them, so if it were 21-years old, it probably wouldn’t happen as much.”

A similar bill was passed by the Massachusetts Senate in 2016, but died in the House.

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