Trenton raises tobacco purchasing age to 21
Trenton is joining a growing list of townships across New Jersey that are making it illegal to sell cigarettes to anyone under 21.
In a vote of 6-1, the Trenton City Council passed an ordinance banning deli's and liquor stores from selling cigars, cigarettes or e-cigarettes to anyone under 21.
A total of 21 other cities in New Jersey have raised the age.
Before casting their votes, City Council members heard several compelling arguments, including one that stated more than 11,000 people die in the state each year from tobacco-related illnesses. Studies found that nearly all of those people started using tobacco before the age of 21.
Councilman George Muschal says stores selling to those under 21 will face fines.
"The fines go up to $1,000 for a third offense. Second offense is $500. First is $250," says Muschal.
Last year, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed an attempt to make 21 the law statewide. He cited a potential loss of $16.2 million in sales tax revenue.
Trenton joins California and Hawaii, plus another 200 municipalities around the U.S., in making the age 21 for purchasing tobacco products.