Despite majority support in the Legislature, a bill that would raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21 has gained little traction in the state's House of Representatives. That could change next year, as a advocates attempt to put the issue on the agenda of House Speaker Robert DeLeo.
A bill to raise the age passed through the senate last session 32 to 2 and a similar House bill has a 104 of the 160 members supporting it. Besides barring anyone under 21 from purchasing tobacco, Rep. Paul McMurtry's bill would ban e-cigarettes in workplaces and stop pharmacies from selling tobacco products.
House Public Health Committee Chairwoman Kate Hogan told WGBH in a statement that she has been working on a new version of a tobacco age bill for next year's session and it hopeful that it will become law. 
“For the past several months we have met with stakeholders, reviewed testimony, and solidified bill language," Hogan, a co-sponsor of McMurtry's bill, wrote, adding that she believes a higher age limit is pro health and common sense.
According to Dr. Rob Crane, a physician and professor at Ohio State, and advocate for raising the tobacco age, 95 percent of smokers start before the age of 21 and raising the age would almost immediately reduce high school smoking by half. Crane, who works to prevent smoking in state legislatures nationwide, was clear about what he sees as the main obstacle blocking the majority-supported bill from advancing in the House.

“If the Speaker of the House wants to move a bill, it moves. Speaker of the House doesn’t want to move it, he doesn’t move it," Crane said.
Crane said the tobacco industry has poured money and lobbyists into every state to prevent lawmakers from depriving the industry of its youngest customers.
Opponents argue raising the age limit would hurt retailers that sell cigarettes and have concerns about the lost tax revenue from tobacco sales.
Currently, Massachusetts has 160 different cities and towns have 21-plus tobacco limits in place at the local level.