TRENTON – A Senate lawmaker introduced legislation Monday that would raise the age to buy a pack of cigarettes in the state to 21.
Sen. Richard Codey, (D-27), introduced a bill that would increase the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 19 to 21 years old. Codey is touting the bill as a proposal that would ultimately save lives by cutting down the number of young adults who become addicted to cigarettes and other tobacco products.
“We are sending a message to young people that ‘to smoke is no joke,” stated Codey, who as governor, signed into law legislation raising the legal purchasing age from 18 to 19. “It’s during the formative years between 18 and 21 that many casual smokers become addicted. This will buy them time to make a more mature decision about a habit that becomes harder to break the longer they smoke.”
According to the proposal, penalties would be applied to the seller – not the purchaser.
A seller would be fined $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second and $1,000 for subsequent violations, according to the bill.