News Brief: Egremont raises tobacco purchase age

The regulations, which will go into effect on Tuesday, November 15, will apply to the two Egremont retail establishments that currently hold Egremont tobacco permits.

Egremont raises tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21

Egremont — After many months of deliberation, the Egremont Board of Health adopted new regulations pertaining to the purchase and sale of tobacco products in the Town of Egremont at a hearing on Thursday, Sept. 15. The regulations, which will go into effect on Tuesday, November 15, are similar to the tobacco regulations adopted recently in Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Stockbridge and Lanesborough and will apply to the two Egremont retail establishments that currently hold Egremont tobacco permits.

At the center of Egremont’s new tobacco regulations is the increase in the purchase age from 18 years of age to 21. Conclusive evidence exists that the use of tobacco products, including those that are smoked, chewed or vaped, causes a series of severe illnesses, is as addictive as cocaine or heroin, and that 90 percent of smokers start before the age of 20.

Last June, the Massachusetts Legislature came very close to passing a bill that would have raised the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 in all cities in towns across the Commonwealth. The bill passed the House and had overwhelming support in Senate, with Governor Baker stating he would sign it if it were brought to his desk. The legislative session ran out before the bill went to vote in the Senate. It is believed the measure will once again make it through the legislative process with eventual passage in the coming months.

Boards of Health in more than 130 Massachusetts cities and towns have raised the age to purchase tobacco products to 21.