Testimony In Support of H.2864/S.1218, an Act to Protect Youth from the Health Risks of Tobacco and Nicotine Addiction, before the Joint Committee on Public Health

The Massachusetts Medical Society wishes to be recorded in strong support for H.2864 and S.1218, An Act to Protect Youth from the Health Risks of Tobacco and Nicotine Addiction.

The Mass Medical Society envisions a day when tobacco-related disease and death are eliminated. To that end, the Society is an active members of Tobacco Free Mass and works to advance legislation, regulations, and policies that prevent tobacco use and, and ensure access to affordable, evidence-based and comprehensive cessation and prevention services for all individuals fighting nicotine addiction. We have made great progress in reducing tobacco use, however, there is more work to be done, especially with young people who are particularly susceptible to nicotine addiction.  

H.2864/S.1218 would reduce tobacco use and nicotine addiction among youth, improve health, save lives, and reduce health care costs through the following provisions:

  • Prohibition on the sale of all tobacco and nicotine delivery products to youth under the age of 21 with grandfathering.
  • Responsible regulation of nicotine delivery products like e-cigarettes, including prohibitions on their use at schools, including vocational schools and technical institutes, and in any workplace. 
  • Broadens the existing definition of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, yet not for tax purposes.
  • Prohibits tobacco vending machines. 
  • Prohibits sale of all tobacco and nicotine delivery products in pharmacies and other health-care institutions. CVS has already stopped such sales but this provision would require all other pharmacies to follow suit. 

Last year, this bill made significant progress in the State House.  The bill was engrossed in the Senate and advanced to House Ways and Means before the end of the session.  

H.2864/S.1218 would go a long way towards reducing tobacco use by young people and ensuring that all individuals live free of secondhand smoke exposure. 

The following bills are consistent with the provisions of H.2864/S.1218 and are also supported by the MMS: 

  • The following bills are consistent with the provisions of H.2864/S.1218 and are also supported by the MMS: 
  • HB835, An Act requiring child-resistant packaging of liquid nicotine containers (Hecht)
  • HB1217, An Act modernizing tobacco control and protecting the health of minors (Sanchez)
  • HB2455, An Act restricting the sale of tobacco products at health care institutions (Garballey)
  • SB1178  - An Act relative to the age of tobacco purchase (Creem)
  • SB1271  - An Act relative to tobacco cessation (Tarr)

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