NJ Lawmakers Seek to Raise Smoking Age To 21

TRENTON (AP) -

Two New Jersey lawmakers want to raise the minimum smoking age from 19 to 21.

Citing studies showing that many smokers move from periodic to regular smoking between the ages of 18 and 21, a bill sponsored by Sens. Dick Codey and Joe Vitale would bar anyone under 21 from buying tobacco products and e-cigarette devices as well as regular cigarettes.

The legislation cleared the Senate health committee on Thursday by a 6-2 vote with one abstention.

The minimum age to buy tobacco products is 18 in all but four states including New York. No state requires waiting until 21 to purchase e-cigarettes. New Jersey’s bill, if approved, would be the first in the nation to limit that.

A similar bill has been introduced in the Assembly.