MA Tobacco 21 Law & Notification Requirements

Effective Dec. 31, 2018

The state’s new law designed to prevent youth access to tobacco products, Chapter 157 of the Acts of 2018, is scheduled to go into effect on December 31, 2018. The law increases the legal age of purchase to 21, prohibits the sale of tobacco in healthcare institutions including retail pharmacies, and brings vaping products within the existing legal framework governing traditional tobacco products.

Under the new law, retailers selling tobacco products are required to conspicuously post three separate notifications, two of which are prepared by the Department of Public Health. Failure to post the required notification is considered a violation of the law and could result in penalties.

The notifications include:

1  Smoking Cessation Referral Disclosure
2  Minimum Purchase Age/Effective Date Statement – must be continuously posted until January 1, 2022;
     Green Version: for use in municipalities that DO NOT have a local regulation in place that raised the legal sales age to 21. These jurisdictions are subject to the exemption allowing consumers that reached the age of 18 before December 31, 2018 to continue to purchase tobacco.
     Blue Version: for use in municipalities that DO have a local regulation in place before December 31, 2018. For these jurisdictions the legal age of purchase will be 21 with no exemption.
3  Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 270, sections 6 and 6A
The required signage can be printed from the links provided above, or can be ordered free of charge from the Department of Public Health Clearinghouse found here.

Thanks to our friends at the Retailers Associations of Massachusetts for sharing this important update with us!