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Christie Raises Smoking Age To 21 In New Jersey

TRENTON (CBS) -- New Jersey will soon increase the legal minimum age to purchase cigarettes and tobacco products from 19 to 21.

Lawmakers Try Again To Raise Smoking Age From 19 To 21

Governor Chris Christie signed the measure without fanfare, using a press release to express his sentiments on the issue.

"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," said Christie.

He continued, "My mother died from the effects of smoking, and no one should lose their life due to any addictive substance. 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."

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The new law also increases penalties for those who sell cigarettes to those underage and allows for increased enforcement of the regulations.

New Jersey's state Assembly and Senate previously approved the measure. Christie had vetoed a similar bill in 2016.

Changes will take effect November 1.

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