Methuen Raises Tobacco Buying Age to 21


From September 1, 2015, in the city of Methuen, Massachusetts, people younger than 21 will no longer be alble to buy tobacco products and electronic cigarettes because the city raises legal age for buying tobacco.

However, owners of local convenience stores do not welcome the change because they say that increase of age will lead to cigarettes sale drop which would hardly be covered.

Despite this, the Board of Health of Methuen adopted last week a number of tougher tobacco regulations arguing that cheap cigars and e-cigarettes present major danger to youth.

As Methuen Board of Health Chairman Ray Wrobel said, they have no intention to punish anyone. The major aim of the law is to protect young generation from health problems which may appear in their adulthood.

Novelty for the city is that now e-cigarettes will be banned just along with traditional cigarettes. There will bannned sale of flavored tobacco, rolling papers and single cigars with a price under $2.50 in convenience stores. According to   Board of Health members, these sweet and tasty tobacco products attract young people to start smoking.

Institute of Medicine made a research which revealed that teens are most likely to find friends between the ages of 18 and 20 to buy tobacco products and electronic cigarettes for them.  Now the Board of Health tries to remove this social source of tobacco for children and this coincides perfectly with the aim to fight tobacco use among youth.

According to  Dean Brouder, the drug and alcohol resource coordinator for Methuen Public Schools, single cigars together with rolling papers are vehicles typically used by teens to smoke marijuana.

At public hearings on the subject, most convenience store owners told they would lose tobacco sales to neighboring communities in New Hampshire, where 18-year-olds can still buy cigarettes at cheaper prices.

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