Melrose Lifts the Tobacco Buying Age to 21
Residents under 21 will currently have to travel outside Melrose in order to buy cigarettes or other tobacco products.
The Board of Health elected unanimously to modify the city's polices in order to stop the sale of cigarettes, cigars, all electronic devices, snuff and other similar nicotine delivery products to those not 21 years. Before, the bylaw identified a minor as anyone below the age of 18. The modification, which is a part of a local tactic to maintain tobacco and other nicotine products away from young adults' hands, will become effective on July 2014.
The change in the law doesn't imply that minors can't light up in Melrose, but they are not allowed from purchasing the products in the city. In a recent study, 11 % of Melrose High School students revealed smoking cigarettes within the past 30 days, even though that was a real progress over 14 % in comparison with the 2011 survey.
Melrose is not the first city in the area to boost the buying age. Reading and Wakefield already have established their age minimum at 21 and Malden is right now trying to apply an identical ban. "Rising the age to 21 is part of an increasing tendency in Massachusetts," stated Ruth Clay, health representative for Melrose, Reading and Wakefield. "At present there are about 21 communities who have increased the minimum age to 19 or 21. Possessing four communities in this area - Winchester, Melrose, Wakefield and Reading - demonstrates steadiness in the area. It is part of a thorough tobacco control work."
Furthermore, seven communities in the state have lifted the legal sales age from 18 to 19, as outlined by D.J. Wilson, tobacco control leader at the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
Whilst some residents are against the new limitations, the board also got support from the community, stated Garipay a registered nurse. «On the other hand, Garipay doesn't think all minors in the city are supporting amending the buying age. "Once they are 18 and they are allowed to purchase cigarettes or e-cigarettes legally, they would not like to see the alter," she added.
About seven young adults, all over 18, expressed their opposition in the course of the meeting.
By Sara Norton, Staff Writer.
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