Boston hikes age for buying cigarettes, tobacco products to 21, joining dozens of communities

Boston health officials have voted to raise the minimum age for buying cigarettes and other tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Mayor Marty Walsh says the city now joins more than 85 other Massachusetts cities and towns — as well as New York City and Hawaii — in hiking the age for purchasing cigarettes.

The Boston Board of Health also voted Thursday to increase the age for admission to adult-only retail tobacco stores and smoking bars to 21.

Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would make 21 the legal age for buying tobacco statewide.

A group representing convenience store and gas station owners opposed the age hike, saying it would hurt business while not addressing the problem of teen smoking.

The change in Boston takes effect Feb. 15.