Wicked Local Bedford
Rep. Kenneth Gordon joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass legislation that seeks to reduce tobacco use and nicotine addiction among youth across the Commonwealth.
An act to protect youth from the health risks of tobacco and nicotine addiction, H.4479, will prohibit the sale of all tobacco, including nicotine delivery products and other vapor products to individuals under the age of 21. Additionally, the bill expands Massachusetts’ Smoke-Free Workplace Law to include e-cigarettes and vapes, thereby ensuring that all tobacco and vapor products will be banned in establishments where the use of traditional tobacco is currently prohibited.
More than 170 cities and towns in Massachusetts have already raised the minimum sales age for tobacco products to 21 years old. With this legislation, Massachusetts will join five other states who have established a statewide minimum sales age of 21, including California, Hawaii, Maine, New Jersey and Oregon. Needham pioneered this movement in 2005 by becoming the first municipality in the country to raise the tobacco sales age to 21.
“Plenty of research shows at 18 years old our brains may be more susceptible to addiction,” Gordon said. “I’m especially pleased this bill covers e-cigarettes or ‘vaping’ which introduces a sweet tasting and highly addictive form of nicotine attractive to young people.”