State lawmakers urged to pass stricter tobacco laws

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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – With the legislative session coming to an end, health organizations are pushing for lawmakers to pass Bill H.4361. The bill passed the Senate and is now awaiting action in the House.

The bill would implement several changes to existing tobacco prevention laws including raising the tobacco sale age from 18 to 21, prohibit sales of tobacco products and e-cigarettes at pharmacies, and include e-cigarettes in the state’s existing smoke free workplace law.

“E-cigarettes, regular cigarettes, should just be outside of the establishments,” Belchertown resident Chris Town said. “People can do whatever they choose, but I think for the general clean living and going green, you know, smoking should just be outside.”

The American Cancer Society Action Network says tobacco use costs Massachusetts $4 billion in health care. Lawmakers have until the last day in the session, August 31st, to act on the tobacco prevention bill.

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