Department of Health and Animal Control News

Posted on: November 1, 2017

New Jersey Raises Age for Purchasing Tobacco to 21

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On November 1, 2017, New Jersey’s new law raising the age for purchasing tobacco products and electronic smoking devices from 19 to 21 takes effect.  Raising the minimum age to 21 helps protect New Jersey youth from the deadly effects of tobacco use.

New Jersey is the third state in the nation to raise the smoking-purchase age to 21 following Hawaii and California.  Approximately 13.5% of New Jersey adults between ages 18 and 24 smoke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  About 11,800 adults die annually in this state from smoking-related illnesses. 

Governor Christie has made reducing tobacco use a part of his anti-addiction initiatives.  He has stated that by raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21, young people have more time to develop a maturity and better understanding of how dangerous smoking can be.

For more information about the new law and about New Jersey’s Tobacco Control Program, visit the Department of Health website at http://nj.gov/health/fhs/tobacco/.  Other helpful resources about tobacco use include Tobacco-Free for a Healthy New Jersey at http://www.tobaccofreenj.com/, and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/index.htm.

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