Lawmakers unveil bill raising age to buy cigarettes to 21


BOSTON (AP) — A move to raise the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes and other tobacco products across Massachusetts is gathering steam on Beacon Hill.

The Legislature’s Public Health Committee on Thursday unveiled a bill that would raise from 18 to 21 the minimum age for the purchase of tobacco products.

Members of the panel said they were hopeful for final passage before the end of the legislative session in July.

Boston recently joined dozens of smaller Massachusetts communities with a minimum tobacco purchase age of 21. The bill, if approved, would make it a statewide standard.

The bill would not punish the use of tobacco by minors, only the sale of it by merchants.

Those currently between the ages of 18 and 21 who can purchase tobacco legally would be exempted.

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