Hopkinton to Raise Smoking Age After Letter From 5th Grader - NECN
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Hopkinton to Raise Smoking Age After Letter From 5th Grader

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    5th Grader's Letter Leads to Change in Tobacco Laws

    A letter from 11-year-old Logan Sullivan prompted the town of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to change the minimum age to buy tobacco products in town.

    (Published Thursday, April 26, 2018)

    A major change is coming to the tobacco law in one Massachusetts town thanks, in part, to a letter from a fifth grader.

    The legal age to buy tobacco products in Hopkinton will increase from 18 to 21. The change administered by the town's Health Department came after 11-year-old Logan Sullivan wrote a letter to Health Commissioners and presented it to them on Monday.

    Health Department Director Shaun McCauliffe says the change is one that will decrease the number of young people who use nicotine, whether by smoking or vaping.

    "The last 12 months, we've had over 20-25 students who have been disciplined for the use of vaping equipment in the school," McCauliffe said.

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    Sullivan decided to write the letter after his fourth grade health teacher taught him the risks of tobacco products.

    "I wrote about how people smoke every day and it can give them lung cancer, and they can die or it could hurt people, sending them to the hospital," he said.

    Changes in the law will go into effect in Hopkinton beginning July 1.

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