Opinion: Mendon raises age to buy tobacco – when will Upton?

uptondaily1pngMendon has joined a growing list of Massachusetts cities and towns to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco and nicotine products from 18 to 21.

Dr. Leicester Hartman presented to the Mendon Board of Heath that nearly ninety percent of  smokers start smoking by the age 20 and ninety percent of people who purchase tobacco for distribution to minors are between the ages of 18 and 20.

When will Upton make this change? How will Upton manage the e-cigarette phenomenon?

The town of Needham found teen tobacco usage rates dropped 50% after raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products.

In 2014 Lindsay Doyle, then President of Nipmuc Student’s Against Destructive Decisions,  approached the Upton Board of Health to see if Upton would be willing to make a similar change. She was met with resistance and her presentation was discounted.

Board of Health members Desjardins and Robinson believed the studies/statistics Lindsay presented were not valid. Al Holman (now chair) was more open to discussion. The board discussed the matter further at another date and determined they would not make any changes to the regulations restricting tobacco sales.

The studies Desjardins and Robinson discounted were the same or similar to  ones presented to Mendon.

Kudos to Mendon and the other towns in Massachusetts (over 70) who have made this change.

Upton this should have been us.

Note: Lindsay was Junior in HS when she approached the board.  She is attending Suffolk University this fall for American Government and Policy Making. Lindsay is the daughter of Jennifer Doyle, Editor of Upton Daily.





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