A number of states have adopted the law of raising the smoking age from 18 to 21. Two more states have raised the legal age recently in which consumers over the age of 21 can buy tobacco products. There are now five states that have enacted the new law with a possibility of a sixth state. Massachusetts may be next to enact the new law according to an anti-tobacco advocacy group.
On August 8, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a legislation that increases the minimum age to 21. The legislation is set to begin on January 1, 2018. On August 2, lawmakers in Maine voted to override Governor Paul LePage’s veto of a similar measure, allowing an age increase July 108.
Oregon was slated to become the third state to increase its tobacco age to 21, but New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed age-increasing legislation July 21 and Maine lawmakers overrode a veto of such legislation by Gov. Paul LePage on August 2.
Laws raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21 have also been enacted in California, Hawaii and New Jersey, as well as at least 255 cities and counties, including New York City, Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, St. Louis and both Kansas Cities.
Massachusetts lawmakers are considering similar legislation for the state, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Washington, D.C. A vote could come before the end of this year.
More than 150 cities and counties in Massachusetts have already adopted a legal age of 21 for purchasing tobacco, covering more than 60% of the state’s population.
Article Credit: Angel Abcede, CStoreDecisions