Cigarette Sales Law has Boston Area Tobacco Retailers Incensed


by Jeffrey Buckley

Updated: June 2, 2017

cigarette law sale

As long as there have been cigarettes, there has been a constant for smokers and nonsmokers. Like the Montagues and the Capulets, their disputes goes back generations. In recent times, the lawmakers have chosen smokers of tobacco and electronic cigarettes as their targets. Cities and counties across the United States have banned smoking from most indoor spaces and selected public spaces. As a result, every new ban faces an array of opposition. In fact, it seems that every new pleasure that smokers find faces prohibition by lawmakers.

The most recent event illustrating this age-old conflict is happening in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. As a result, public health officials and tobacco retailers are now having a new thing to argue.

Age the new Crucial Factor in Tobacco Dispute

It would be helpful to know the minimum legal age in Boston for purchasing tobacco products is not 18 anymore. The lawmakers and health officials have raised it up to 21. It is understandable that tobacco retailers are everything but happy with this. Health practitioners hope that this act will discourage teens from starting the habit. Retailers, on the other hand, fear for the decrease in sales.

It seems that the health commissioners are no less concerned about some encouraging statistics. This is despite the fact that the use of cigarettes among youth in Massachusetts has decreased in the past decades.

Restricting youth access to tobacco is the single most important strategy in preventing youth from starting smoking, given that tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death. We know that the vast majority of people who become addicted to cigarettes began smoking when they were adolescents and that the older people are when they begin to experiment with or start smoking, the less likely they are to develop a lifelong habit.Monica Valdez Lupi, the executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission

Young People Especially Vulnerable

In 2015, 15.9% of Massachusetts high school students reported the use of any tobacco products when compared to 23.9% in 2009. This is according to Health and Human Services of Massachusetts Government. Moreover, in the past 2 decades, cigarette use among Massachusetts youth has declined by more than 60%. As Valdez Lupi expressed her concerns, nearly all adult smokers (88%) started before they were 18. As their bodies and brains are still in development, young people are especially vulnerable to addictions.

If lawmakers truly wish to decrease underage smoking, a more effective approach is comprehensive underage-access prevention legislation, penalizing smoking in public places or spaces with children, or supporting youth education programs advocating against risky behaviors such as smoking.Dennis Lane, executive director of Coalition for Responsible Smoking

This act sparked many debates and comments on social media and news platforms reporting on it. One local resident expressed his opinion quite vocally,“18 year olds are adults, treat them as such. 18 year old are legally responsible for their actions. Let them smoke (or drink) and face the consequences, just like other adults.”

Will lawmakers in Massachusetts find a mutually beneficial solution? Or will one side have to suffer in the end? Which side do you think will have it rougher?

Published: June 2, 2017

Jeffrey Buckley

I was a smoker for over 25 years. In this time I also earned my medical degree with a specialization in addiction treatment and counseling. That period has led me to vaping, my interest started around 2011. I’m fighting the tide of hysteria and dis-information around vaping that emanates from various fronts legislative, cultural and scientific. Having scientific councils support, I’m happy to contribute my thoughts, articles, and expertise.


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