Gov. Baker backing plan to ban under-21 purchase of tobacco

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker speaks during a news conference. Steven Senne / AP

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker says he supports banning the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to people under 21.

Dozens of cities and towns, including Boston, have already approved such bans. The state Senate is scheduled to debate a bill next week that would hike the statewide minimum age for purchasing tobacco from 18 to 21.

Baker said Friday that he supports the idea, but would need to see the bill’s final language before deciding whether to sign it.

Supporters hope to discourage more young people from taking up smoking.

The bill would allow anyone who turns 18 before Jan. 1, 2017, to continue buying tobacco. The bill would include new regulations for e-cigarettes and ban tobacco sales at health care institutions.


Online: Tobacco legislation: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/189/Senate/S2152