Archive 2008 - 2019

Tobacco Sale Age May Change

by Bill Tobin

The Holliston Board of Health has the authority to change the local sale of tobacco products from the current minimum age of 18 years to 21 years of age. This includes all tobacco products including electronic nicotine delivery products.

Board of Health members Claire Scaramello, Julie Lane and Karen Spaziante with Scott Moles, health director and Lisa Deering, clerk.

If the Board does decide to raise the age to 21, it would be one of several area towns to do so. Currently there are 146 communities in Massachusetts that have an age 21 requirement. That incudes abutting towns of Ashland, Medway, Milford, Millis, and Sherborn.. Currently tobacco products are sold in 9 licensed Holliston locations to those over 18 years of age.according to the town by-law.

The towns in green currently require tobacco sales to 21 year olds and older who must show age identification.

The reason to increase the age is it helps keep tobacco out of the hands of teenagers. Studies have shown that the older threshold decreases smoking rates among high school students.There is evidence that raising the age to 21 is effective at lowering smoking rates. Furthermore, smoking rates among high school students has decreased in communities that have raised the age to 21.

Opponents to raise the age to 21 state that at 18 a person can be a registered voter, get married, and serve in the military, offering their lives to the the United States..

Anti-smoking advocates should also target flavored tobacco products, advertising, and the price of tobacco products among other things.

A public hearing on this subject was held on March 9, 2017. Five Holliston residents attended.

Comments (2)

This is a real disgrace. One of my highlights growing up in this community was driving down to the Mobil station on my 18th birthday and smoking a premium wood tip black and mild cigar with some friends during lunch. What's next? Breathalyzing every kid that goes to football games? Raising the driving age to 21? Requiring holding hands when crossing rt 16? I'm sick and tired of this nanny state.

Sean Conway | 2017-03-19 10:35:31

Shame on the Board of Health for holding this absurd hearing. They can pretend they have some authority, but this proposal goes well beyond the Board's mandate. "To promote and protect the public health and safety," not to discriminate based on a person's age or prohibit adults from exercising their own free will. A nanny state is no way to govern!

James Pennypacker | 2017-03-17 10:38:20