Boston Raises Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco to 21 Years Old

Starting February 15th next year you must be at least 21 years old to purchase tobacco in Boston. 

The new regulations are due to Boston’s Board of Health voting to approve amendments that raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco, including e-cigarettes, from 18 to 21. You must also be at least 21 to enter adult-only retail tobacco stores and smoking bars.

“I am proud to stand with our Board of Health in support of updating Boston’s tobacco regulations. It is our responsibility to do what we can to guide our young people and create a healthier future for all Bostonians,” said Mayor Marty Walsh, who announced the initiative to raise the age in November. “We know the consequences of tobacco use are real and can be devastating. These changes send a strong message that Boston takes the issue of preventing tobacco addiction seriously, and I hope that message is heard throughout Boston and across the entire country.”

With the changes to the city’s tobacco regulations, Boston joins more than 85 other municipalities in Massachusetts, as well as New York City and Hawaii, in requiring the minimum age to be 21.

Boston has actually done a very good job in stopping high school students from using tobacco, with statistics showing the rate of cigarette use declined from 15.3 percent in 2005 to 7.9 percent in 2013, and is well below the national average of 15.7 percent.