State Watch

GOP governor to sign bill raising age for tobacco purchases to 21

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) will sign a bill into law on Friday that raises the legal age for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21.

The legislation aims to combat the number of young adults who start smoking early and reduce health-care costs associated with long-term cigarette smoking, The Beacon Hill Patch reported on Friday.

Three out of four American adults — including nearly 70 percent of cigarette smokers — favor raising the minimum age of sale for all tobacco products, according to a study cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

{mosads} The Massachusetts bill will go into effect in the beginning of 2019, making it the sixth state to raise the minimum age requirement, according to The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. 

The group praised Baker for signing the bill to fight. 

“Increasing the tobacco age to 21 is a critical step in reducing and eventually eliminating tobacco’s terrible toll,” the group said in a statement.

A similar bill recently passed in Illinois and is headed to the desk of Gov. Bruce Rauner (R). 

Baker also signed into law The Negating Archaic Statutes Targeting Young Women Act or NASTY Women Act. 

The bill officially repeals a 173-year-old law against “procuring a miscarriage” — even though abortion is already legal in the state, as well as nationwide, following Roe v. Wade.

“It’s a good day for Massachusetts,” Baker said at the bill signing. 

The bill was pushed through by state legislators as a response to fears that Roe v. Wade may be in jeopardy if President Trump’s second nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, is confirmed to the bench.

— Updated July 28, 5:56 p.m. 

Tags abortion access cigarette smoking Donald Trump Massachusetts NASTY Women Act Tobacco

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