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NJ May Raise Legal Age to Buy Cigarettes (Erin Delmore, NJTV News)

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NJTV News reported on January 8, 2016 that New Jersey is one step closer to raising the legal age to buy cigarettes and tobacco products from 19 to 21.

According to Assemblywoman Valeri Vainieri Huttle whoo sponsored the legislation, “its a really good idea”, she said.  The bill puts the onus on sellers, not buyers. A store owner who sells tobacco products to anyone under 21 would face fines up to $1,000 and risk their retail license.The purchaser? No penalty. Unless they’re using a fake ID, which is illegal on its own.

Executive Director of GASP, Karen Blumenfeld, Esq. was also interviewed and as an advocate of the bill, she pointed out that the retailer’s concerns are outweighed by the health benefits. ““Ninety percent of all people who start smoking is before age 21. Studies have shown a decrease in smoking initiation in smoking by young people when age has increased,”

The State Assembly is aiming vote on the legislation this Monday, where it’s expected to pass, then move to the governor’s desk this week.

Watch the NJTV News video below: