New tobacco laws in effect on New Year’s Eve

Hampden County

Back in July, Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill imposing new restrictions on tobacco products in Massachusetts.

Starting December 31, people must be 21 years old to buy any tobacco product. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, nearly 90 percent of adult daily smokers started their habit by age 18. 

People told 22News they think the new law will help keep younger people from getting addicted. 

“I think that’s great,” said Tony Santos of Ludlow. “Being an ex-smoker, I know how hard it was for me to quit smoking.”

Along with raising the minimum age to buy tobacco products, the law also bans the use of e-cigarettes in places that already prohibit smoking. 

“It’s just getting the youngsters all hooked up on them,” John Amaral said in reference to e-cigarettes. “They’re making money on these poor youngsters.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that e-cigarettes, like Juuls and other vaping products, can be just as addictive as regular tobacco cigarettes. About 5 percent of American high schoolers have used an e-cigarette this year, according to the CDC. 

“You got these younger kids getting hooked on them a lot faster and quicker,” Santos added. 

The new law also prohibits the use of tobacco products on school grounds and bans pharmacies from selling tobacco products. People who turned 18 before today will be grandfathered into the new law and will be allowed to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products, despite not being 21.

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