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Framingham Raised Tobacco Buying Age to 21

December 2nd, 2014 00:00
Framingham Raised Tobacco Buying Age to 21

Board of Health in Framingham city, Massachusetts, adopted stricter tobacco regulations by increasing legal age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. The Board took such a decision in its attempt to reduce smoking rates among youth.

Pediatrician Lester Hartman, cofounder of the Tobacco 21 campaign, welcomes the change and offered the Board his congratulations during public comment. In his speech Hartman told that

Framingham is the municipality number 40 in Massachusetts to increase the mimimum age to buy cigarettes to 21. Board members are convinced that raising age will help to prevent teens from smoking.

During public comments there took place hot discussions regarding ban of sale of tobacco products in pharmacies, sale of flavored tobacco to those over 21 and regulations of sale of cigars. In the end the Board decided to leave the state of affairs as it is and not introduce changes there.

Board member David Moore told that when the talk is about restrictions it is necessary to be careful, Here the key issue is age of 21 when people may take deliberate decisions.

Framingham followed the example of Newton, Needham and other cities who passed similar laws, but Framingham imposed stricter penalties for law violations. Hence, retailer who will sell tobacco to those under 21 will face a 3-day permit suspension and $100 fine for first offense, then for the second offense he will face a 21-day suspension and $300 fine, third offence considers withdrawal of a licence. The initial proposal of 10-day permit suspension for first offence, was rejected.

Also the Board rejected the idea of banning sale of tobacco products in pharmacies and the question remained opened, because some Board members consider that it will never do to sell medications behind cigarettes.

The law increasing buying age to 21 in Framingham comes into effect on July, 2015.