Kids to give Beacon Hill 21 reasons to raise tobacco age

BOSTON — On Wednesday, Oct. 25, youth from across the state will gather at the State House and hold a news conference to tell lawmakers why it’s important to them that legislation is passed this year to raise the sale age of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21 in Massachusetts.  The event will happen at 11 a.m.

Kids of all ages will gather in Nurses Hall and illustrate and talk about why this legislation is important to them, with reasons ranging from losing a loved one to a smoking related illness, to not wanting to see their friends start smoking.

Every year in Massachusetts, nearly 3,000 kids become new daily smokers, and 103,000 kids in the state under the age of 18 now will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.

Legislation (S.1218/H2864) would raise the sale age of tobacco products from 18 to 21. The importance of doing so cannot be understated since 95 percent of smokers say they started before the age of 21.

Tobacco 21 legislation has been implemented on the local level in nearly 160 cities and towns across Massachusetts, including Boston, Worcester, and Lowell. Several other municipalities are considering similar regulations. Last session, Tobacco 21 legislation had widespread, bi-partisan support on Beacon Hill, with passage in the state Senate and more than 100 House sponsors.  Advocates are urging lawmakers to pass this commonsense legislation statewide this year.

WHAT:   Kids speak out:  21 reasons to raise the sale age of tobacco from 18 to 21

WHEN:    October 25, 11am-12pm

WHERE: Nurse’s Hall, MA State House, Boston

WHO:    Kids from across the state

Bill Sponsors Sen. Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) and Rep. Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham) available for interviews after event.

Kate Kahn

ABOUT: Tobacco Free Mass is a privately-funded coalition that advocates for funding and policies that support tobacco prevention and cessation and the reduction of exposure to secondhand smoke. The coalition was formed in 1991 to pass Question One, which raised the state’s tobacco excise tax to fund, in part, the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program and other public health initiatives.

The Coalition continues to advocate for funding and policies to reduce death and disease caused by tobacco use. Tobacco Free Mass carries out its mission with the help of more than fifty member organizations and 10,000 grassroots advocates from across the Commonwealth.

Leave a Comment