On Friday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) signed a bill to increase the smoking age from 19 to 21 in New Jersey.
New Jersey liberals have attempted to pass this legislation from as early as 2014 according to NJ.com. Additionally, consumers will have to be 21 to buy electronic cigarettes and other similar electronic smoking devices.
Christie released a statement which says that by raising the smoking age, it will give younger people “more time to develop a maturity” in order to understand the risks of tobacco.
“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,” stated Christie. “My mother died from the effects of smoking, and no one should lose their life due to any addictive substance.”
Christie stated that raising the smoking age will also help to lower health care costs since smoking is associated with several health issues.
“Additionally, the less people who develop costly tobacco habits that can cause health problems, such as lung cancer, heart disease and developmental issues, the less strain there will be on our healthcare system,” Christie wrote.
Aside from New Jersey, California and Hawaii are the only two other states with a smoking age of 21 years old. Maine has recently approved a bill to raise the age to purchase tobacco but Governor Paul LePage (R) has not declared whether he will sign the legislation.
First reported by The Blaze.