Haverhill, Methuen, Andover to Share $120K in State Tobacco Prevention Money

cigarettes isolated on a white background

Haverhill, Methuen and Andover are poised to benefit from state tobacco aid money from the Department of Public Health. (File photograph)

Several Merrimack Valley cities and towns are set to benefit from a share of $6 million in state money from the Department of Public Health in an effort to curb tobacco use and protect residents from secondhand smoke.

Over the next four years, the town of Andover will receive an estimated $120,000 to serve its community and residents of nearby Haverhill and Methuen. Money is awarded annually and will support efforts to reduce “the influence of the tobacco and vaping industries on communities,” the DPH said.

Vaping, which involves the use of electronic cigarettes, is nine times more prevalent among youth than adults in Massachusetts, the agency said.

Andover is one of 16 municipalities statewide to receive $1.5 million in funding. Lowell and Lawrence are also able to reap the rewards of state aid, sharing $75,000 annually.

The awards come less than two weeks after Gov. Charlie Baker signed off on changing the statewide purchasing age for tobacco products from 18 to 21. The law goes into effect in December. Through the new policy, e-cigarettes will also be banned in locations where cigarettes are prohibited.