State lawmakers debating about raising the legal age for buying tobacco products

The minimum age for buying tobacco is 18 in all states but five

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWWLP) – State House debate is intensifying over raising  the minimum age to buy tobacco products  to 21.

Massachusetts voters legalized Recreational Marijuana for adults over 21 in November with the passage of ballot question four. And some state lawmakers want to increase the minimum age for buying cigarettes from 18 to 21.

“At 18 you’re able to go overseas and die for our country, so why not be able to smoke tobacco and drink at that age,” said Joe Keeney of Greenfield.

“It’s alright for it to be 21 just because of everything going on like the legalization of marijuana is now 21, said Freddy Leyro of Greenfield. “Everything would be the same age.”

Greenfield is one of several Franklin County towns where the legal age for buying tobacco products like cigarettes was moved from 18 to 21. Montague, Deerfield, Sunderland, Whately, Leverett, and Gill are all “Nicotine 21” towns..

State Rep. Paul McMurtry is sponsoring a bill to prohibiting the sale of tobacco products for anyone under 21. He believes raising the age would reduce lifelong addictions to nicotine.

“There’s enough addiction in different things around here, why make it easier for kids to get cigarettes,” said Hector Torres of Greenfield.

The minimum age for buying tobacco is 18 in all states but five. The legal age for buying tobacco products is 19 in Alaska, Alabama, New Jersey and Utah.

Hawaii is the only state where it’s 21.