Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society Urges Senate Passage of Tobacco Age Bill

Massachusetts Medical Society Urges Senate Passage of Tobacco Age Bill

Alain Chaoui, MD, President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, released the following statement following House passage of H. 4479:

“The Massachusetts Medical Society commends the Massachusetts House of Representatives for passing a bill to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco and e-cigarettes to 21 years.

“Research has consistently showed that those who start smoking earlier in life are more likely to continue smoking – and that those who do not start in adolescence are less likely to begin. By raising the legal purchasing age to 21; prohibiting the use of e-cigarettes and similar products in smoke-free workplaces; and stopping pharmacies from selling tobacco, e-cigarettes and other similar products; this bill would make it harder for youth in the Commonwealth to begin smoking, thus protecting their health throughout their lives.

“Unfortunately, despite the significant and well-known dangers associated with tobacco use, we still have work to do. According to one recent survey, in 2015, 7.7% of high school students in Massachusetts had smoked cigarettes in the previous month. These students were all at increased risk of long-term use, and of the health risks that would follow.

“As a family physician, I have counseled patients through the long, difficult process of smoking cessation. Quite simply, it’s not easy. That’s why I support a common-sense approach to make it so that fewer patients have to tackle the challenge of quitting in order to live longer, healthier lives.

 “On behalf of the 25,000 physician and medical student members of the Massachusetts Medical Society, I urge the Massachusetts Senate to pass this important legislation quickly, and ask Governor Charlie Baker to sign the bill into law.”

The Massachusetts Medical Society is a proud member of Tobacco Free Mass. To learn more about Tobacco Free Mass’s efforts to curtail smoking in the Commonwealth, visit their website today.

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