Gov. Chris Christie signed the law last Friday and it is expected to go into effect on the first of November. “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 dangerous smoking can be and that it is better to not start smoking in the first place,” wrote Christie, who had put forward a similar bill last year.
Medical doctor and New Jersey Assemblyman Herb Conaway, from Burlington County is a co-sponsor of the legislation. He said that something needed to be done in order to “help deter [teens] from picking up this dangerous and deadly habit.” However, sadly this bill does not differentiate between combustible tobacco products and their safer electronic counterparts.
No differentiation between cigarettes and vaping products
Studies keep indicating that vaping products are significantly safer than regular cigarettes, and effective smoking cessation tools. Additionally it is a known fact that most teen smokers become addicted to cigarettes before they have even turned 18. Hence though making it harder for them to be able to obtain cigarettes may be a positive step in the right direction, limiting their accessibility to the products which could help them quit smoking, may not be a good idea.
Maine may be following suit
Hawaii and California are the other two states where the tobacco purchasing age limit is set at 21. Additionally, a similar legislation raising the age from 18 to 21 in Maine, is awaiting Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s signature, who has not yet confirmed whether he will sign.
More info : Time