TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie will not act on a bill that would have boosted New Jersey's smoking age to 21, keeping the age to buy tobacco products at 19.

The Republican governor did not immediately comment on the decision announced Tuesday.

The bill would have fined retailers up to $1,000 if they sold cigarettes or other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone 20 years old or younger. Underage smokers would have gone unpunished.

Hawaii recently became the first state to raise its smoking age to 21, and similar measures have been introduced in eight other states and the District of Columbia. Federal lawmakers have also proposed a nationwide smoking age of 21.

Advocates hoped New Jersey would have signaled a tipping point for raising the age across the country.