New Jersey may be second state to raise smoking age to 21

AP News
Posted: Jan 12, 2016 12:54 PM

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey could become the second state to raise the smoking age to 21, as part of a movement that comes amid a sharp increase in electronic cigarette use among young people.

The state's Legislature on Monday passed a bill that would fine retailers up to $1,000 if they sell cigarettes or other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. The law wouldn't punish underage smokers.

It's unclear whether Gov. Chris Christie will sign it into law. He has until Jan. 19 to decide.

Hawaii became the first state to raise the smoking age to 21 on Jan. 1, and similar measures have been introduced in eight other states.

A recent study found that raising the smoking age would reduce rates among teens by 12 percent, preventing more than 200,000 premature deaths.