TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Chris Christie has decided not act on a bill that would have boosted New Jersey's smoking age to 21, keeping the age to buy tobacco products at 19.
The bill would have fined retailers up to $1,000 if they sold cigarettes or other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone 20 years old or younger. Underage smokers would have gone unpunished.
A statement from the Republican governor's office does not mention the smoking bill but blames the Legislature for sending more than 100 bills to him at the same time "praying for them to be rubber stamped."
Hawaii recently became the first state to raise its smoking age to 21, and similar measures have been introduced in eight other states. Federal lawmakers have also proposed a nationwide smoking age of 21.