Eric Dumas, a senior at Brookline High School in Brookline, MA, has spearheaded an effort to increase the minimum age for buying tobacco in Brookline to 19, instead of the current 18 year age requirement. Dumas recently told Brookline’s Board of Selectmen that very few high school students turn 19 while they’re still in high school. Dumas argued that raising the age to 19 would thus greatly reduce the number of underage students who could obtain tobacco products, as well as the number of students who could lawfully smoke at the high school. The group headed by Dumas is prepared to present their request at a Brookline Town Meeting in May.
Needham, MA became the first Massachusetts community to raise the tobacco age requirement to 19 in 2003. Since then, Needham has further increased the minimum age requirement to 21. According to Needham town officials, the change in its age requirement did decrease the number of individuals who were able to get their hands on a tobacco product while underage.
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