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Rep. Dykema Votes to Support Statewide Increase in Smoking Age

by Press Release
May 12, 2018

Rep. Carolyn Dykema of Holliston joined her colleagues in the House of Representatives in voting to pass H.4479, An Act to protect youth from the health risks of tobacco and nicotine addiction, this week. This bill would raise the statewide purchasing age for tobacco and other nicotine products from 18 to 21.

This legislation would restrict sale of tobacco and other nicotine products to anyone under the age of 21, including e-cigarettes and vapor products. It also prohibits vaping in publicly-owned spaces, including public transit, and prohibits the sale of any tobacco or nicotine products at health care institutions or pharmacies. The legislation includes important safety measures specifically designed to address increased use of vapor products, including requiring child-resistant packaging for nicotine products and creating a statewide task force to study health impacts of e-cigarettes and vapes.

“Many of my constituents, including a large and vocal group of young people, have passionately advocated for this important public health initiative,” said Rep. Dykema. “I’m proud to vote for legislation to continue to reduce youth tobacco use and support the formation of lifelong healthy habits at a young age.”

More than half of the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns already have local ordinances setting the minimum tobacco purchase age at 21. In the 8th Middlesex District, the towns of Southborough and Hopkinton have raised the age to 21, and the Holliston Board of Health considered a similar proposal in 2017. This legislation would create a statewide framework to support a uniform policy, rather than relying on a patchwork of varying local ordinances.

If passed into law, Massachusetts would become the sixth state, along with the territory of Guam, to raise the age for tobacco purchasing statewide. In Hawaii, the “raise the age” law was supported by the Department of Defense, which implemented a matching policy for military institutions in Hawaii. The proposal now moves to the Senate, which passed similar legislation in 2016.

 

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Comments (1)

It's so refreshing to see that Rep. Dykema cares about more than just raising taxes. She wants to raise taxes and limit personal liberty, all at them same time. Next time you see her, be sure to thank her for stealing your hard earned money, and then refusing to let you buy what you want with the scraps she left behind.

- Raul Quintanilla | 5/13/18 12:01 AM

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