New Jersey Ups Smoking Age

New Jersey Ups Smoking Age”

New Jersey's Democratic-majority Legislature passed the bill in June by a 59-15-3 vote in the state Assembly and a 25-10 Senate vote prior to Christie's Friday signing.

"By raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21, we are giving young people more time to develop a maturity and better understanding of how risky smoking can be and that it is better to not start smoking in the first place", Christie said.

When the law takes effect November 1, New Jersey will become the third state (after Hawaii and California) to embrace the higher age limit.

"My mother died from the effects of smoking, and no one should lose their life due to any addictive substance", the governor commented. "As he did with the conversion therapy ban, Governor Christie took a stand for LGBT youth in New Jersey by signing this important legislation, and he deserves our thanks". Health advocates say that preventing teen-agers from starting smoking has an immeasurable benefit for them, and saves taxpayers billions in health-care subsidies.

While New Jersey amended its Law Against Discrimination in 2006 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression, it did not contain specific provisions pertaining to pronouns and bathrooms. Recent surveys show that teenagers who indulge now prefer "vaping" to cigarettes and other tobacco products. Tobacco 21 legislation is on the desks of the governors in ME and Oregon. Should Pennsylvania join New Jersey and raise its minimum age?

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