Massachusetts Raises Tobacco Buying Age

Six states will now require customers be 21 to purchase cigarettes

BOSTON -- Starting in 2019, the legal age to purchase tobacco in Massachusetts will be 21. Gov. Charlie Baker signed the new measure into law on July 27.

With the signing, Massachusetts becomes the sixth state to raise the age from the federal minimum of 18 years old, following California, Hawaii, New Jersey, Maine and Oregon, as well as Washington, D.C., and at least 340 cities and counties, including New York City, Chicago, San Antonio, Boston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, St. Louis and both Kansas Cities, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Washington, D.C.

The Illinois legislature sent a measure that would raise the tobacco buying age to 21 years of age to the desk of Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has yet to sign it.

In addition to raising the tobacco buying age to 21, the Massachusetts law also prohibits pharmacies from selling tobacco products, becoming the first state to enact such a prohibition for pharmacies. It also adds e-cigarettes to the state’s smoke-free law, according to the organization.

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