The State of New Jersey moved one step closer to becoming the first state to require those purchasing tobacco to be 21-years-old when the New Jersey Senate passed S. 602 earlier today. The bill now moves to the State’s other legislative body, the Assembly.
New Jersey is the eighth state that has tried to raise the minimum purchasing age to 21 this year. Similar legislation failed in Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Oklahoma, Utah and Vermont, while an amendment is still alive in the Massachusetts House.
Currently, the minimum purchasing age in New Jersey is 19. The new law would raise that to 21 and fine those who sell tobacco to individuals under 21 years of age $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for each offense thereafter.
New Jersey has been busy in the last month regarding potential legislation. Last week, the state banned smoking at public beaches and parks, while earlier this month the State Assembly passed a bill that would open the door for new cigar lounges.