SCITUATE (CBS) – Health officials in Scituate have voted to raise the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. They hope the new rules will prevent teenagers from lighting up.
“If they can’t get their hands on it then hopefully they don’t start,” said Scituate Board of Health Chairman Russell Clark.
On May 1, Scituate will join a handful of other towns in the Commonwealth that have made cigarettes harder for young folks to get. The restriction also covers popular flavored cigars and so-called blunt wraps costing less than $2.50.
“It’s something that I’m not surprised about and I know it’s well intentioned,” says Marilyn Ward Howe who runs a cafe and store in Humarock. She says there are more important issues here than the small bite this will take out of her bottom line. “Knowing it’s the right thing to do and believing it has minimal effect on me, I’m not gonna fight,” she says.
Clearly, no one is arguing the ill-effects of tobacco. But, tobacco opponents are now armed with a recent study which found that people who make it to 21 without smoking have only a two percent chance of ever starting.
“I think the way we’re looking at it is the further we can get it away from the high school the better it is,” says Russell Clark.
The Board of Health encountered very little opposition.
The new restrictions also banish e-cigarettes from restaurants, bars, and workplaces, just like their smoky counterparts.
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