New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has used a pocket veto to defeat a bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 19 to 21-years-old.
After sitting on the proposal for more than a year, the New Jersey Assembly hurried it through committee meetings and onto the floor, where it was approved by a 49-20 vote earlier this month. The state senate approved its version of the bill in June 2014. While the governor has yet to issue a statement on it, he has generally preferred to leave decisions regarding tobacco sales and usage to individual municipalities in the state. In Sept. 2014, he vetoed a bill that would have banned smoking at all beaches in the state.
With Christie’s veto, Hawaii remains the only state in the country where a person must be at least 21-years-old to purchase tobacco.