NJ could raise smoking age to 21

New Jersey could be the next state to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years old.

New Jersey could raise minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old

New Jersey could raise minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old (7/10/15)

TRENTON - New Jersey could be the next state to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years old.

The state Senate has already voted in favor of raising the age, and Sen. Dick Codey believes the state Assembly will vote in favor of it too.

"We're talking about people whose brains have not fully matured," says Sen. Codey, who believes raising the age will decrease the number of people who start smoking.

Sen. Codey is responsible for raising the age to purchase of tobacco to 19 years old in New Jersey, a measure he approved when he was acting governor in 2006. Since then, eight New Jersey towns have implemented their own ordinance to raise the age to 21.

However, not all New Jersey residents agree with raising the age.

"I don't think it will make a difference," says Debbie Stuart, of Piscataway. "If kids are going to smoke, they're going to smoke."

The proposal has also received some criticism from New Jersey businesses that sell tobacco. The law would not include e-cigarettes.

Sen. Codey believes the assembly will pass the bill by the end of the year. If approved, violators of the law could pay up to $1,000 in fines.

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