Massachusetts Joins Ranks of States Preventing Tobacco Sales to Youth Under 21, Becomes First State to Pass Tobacco Sale Ban on Pharmacies

ACS CAN Applauds Huge Public Health Win for Commonwealth Youth

July 27, 2018

BOSTON - Today, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law legislation that will increase the statewide age of sale for tobacco products - including e-cigarettes - from 18 to 21, include e-cigarettes in the smoke-free workplace law, and prohibit the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies.

Marc Hymovitz, government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, released the following statement in response:

“Today’s bill signing builds on our state’s longstanding progress in tobacco prevention. Thanks to Governor Baker’s support, our lawmakers’ hard work and our advocates’ persistence, Massachusetts will now become the sixth state in the country to limit sales of tobacco products to those over the age of 21. This also makes the Commonwealth a leader in the nation, becoming the first to implement a statewide ban on the sale of tobacco in pharmacies. 

“We know the tobacco industry uniquely targets young people to replace consumers dying from their products, and too many of our children are becoming addicted before they even have a chance to grow up. But if kids don’t pick up a tobacco addiction during their vulnerable adolescent and teenage years, they’ll be less likely to do it when they’re 21. This legislation has the potential to reduce smoking rates in our state and ensure our kids live longer, healthier lives.

“We again would like to thank our legislative champions, Senator Lewis, Senate President Chandler and Senator Spilka and Representative McMurty, Speaker DeLeo, Representative Sanchez and Representative Hogan, for their tenacity and dedication to this lifesaving bill. On behalf of all cancer patients, survivors and their families, we thank Governor Baker for signing this into law.”


ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

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Amber Herting
ACS CAN, Media Advocacy