BOSTON – The state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21 – a move that had been under consideration by the Worcester Board of Health.
“This legislation will reduce tobacco use and the resulting nicotine addiction from our young people … which, over time, will save lives and health care costs,” said Sen. Jason Lewis, D-Winchester, chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Health.
The bill, which passed by a vote of 32-2, now moves to the House. If the bill passes there and signed by Gov. Charles D. Baker Jr., Massachusetts would join Hawaii as the only states to place the minimum age to purchase tobacco products at 21.
Massachusetts state law currently limits sales of tobacco products to people 18 or older. The legal age is 19 in Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah.