The snow at the end of January delayed, but did not derail the first vote of the session to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21. On February 4, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee voted in favor of the bill. The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee followed suit on February 22. The next step is for the budget committees in each house to review the proposed law and decide if the entire Senate and Assembly should vote on it.
In New Jersey, it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 19. However, many municipalities throughout the state followed in the footsteps of New York City and Hawaii by raising the age to purchase tobacco products to 21, but others have cited the need for the law to be changed at the state level so it applies throughout New Jersey.
Approximately 95% of adult daily smokers pick up the habit before turning 21. The longer we can keep tobacco products out of the hands of young people, the less likely they will be to develop a potentially fatal addiction.