As Boston considers raising the legal age for purchasing cigarettes and other tobacco products in the city from 18 to 21, the Massachusetts Legislature is weighing the possibility of a making such a change on a statewide basis.
Nearly 60 representatives and senators have signed on to a bill that would make it illegal to sell tobacco to people under 21, with penalties ranging from $100 up to $300 for repeat violations.
The minimum legal age for tobacco sales has emerged in recent years as a new front in the battle to curb smoking.
Hawaii recently became the first state to raise the age to 21.
Several dozen Massachusetts communities have done the same in the last 10 years, and Boston's Board of Health has scheduled a hearing for Thursday on such a plan.
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