Massachusetts sets smoking age at 21

FILE PHOTO: Massachusetts has enacted a law that makes 21 the legal smoking age.

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FILE PHOTO: Massachusetts has enacted a law that makes 21 the legal smoking age.

Starting December 31, the legal age to buy cigarettes in Massachusetts became 21.

Along with raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 for buying cigarettes, pharmacies cannot sell tobacco products and the new law also bans the use of e-cigarettes where smoking is prohibited.

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The higher purchase age for cigarettes and other tobacco products in the state kicked in Monday, nearly 14 years after Needham became the first town in the country to ban tobacco sales to people under 21 years old.

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The new law also prohibits the use of tobacco products on any type of school grounds, no matter if it's public or private.

People who turned 18 before Dec. 31 will still be able to buy cigarettes and tobacco products unless they live in a city or town that already requires a higher age.

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In Massachusetts, there are 194 municipalities that have locally raised their tobacco age to 21.

Massachusetts is now the sixth state in the country to push its tobacco age to 21. Maine is the only other New England state that has done so.

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