NJ lawmakers try again to raise smoking age from 19 to 21

TRENTON, N.J.  — New Jersey lawmakers have again sent a measure to Gov. Chris Christie to raise the smoking age in the state to 21.

The Democratic-controlled state Assembly on Thursday approved raising the age to 21 from 19 for purchasing tobacco or electronic cigarette devices.

The Senate previously approved the measure and it’s now up to the Republican Christie, who vetoed a similar measure in January 2016.

It’s not clear how he will act this time.

New Jersey would be the second state to have a smoking age of 21, along with Hawaii.

It passed on Thursday by a vote of 53-16, with six abstentions.

Nearly nine out of ten smokers started smoking by age 18, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New Jersey raised the legal age to buy cigarettes from 18 to 19 in 2006.

New York City banned tobacco sales to people under the age of 21, including electronic smoking devices. Many municipalities in Massachusetts have also raised the limit.