TRENTON, N.J., June 23, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, New Jersey's Assembly overwhelmingly passed #A2320 that raises the legal minimum sales age for all nicotine and tobacco products to 21. The New Jersey Senate has already voted through companion bill #S359, so the future of this addiction preventing and lifesaving effort is now in Governor Christie's hands. If signed, this policy will give millions of young people who live in New Jersey more time before they are bombarded with offers to begin smoking.
"95% of all smokers take up their deadly habit before age 21," said Rob Crane, MD, Ohio State University professor of Family Medicine and President of the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation. "Susceptibility to nicotine addiction declines rapidly as young people move into their 20s. A few years delay means a lot less addiction."
Last session, Governor Christie failed to sign the bill, citing time limitations, even though it had substantial bi-partisan legislative support and 75% popular support. Nationally sixty-six million Americans, more than 20% of the nation's population, live in jurisdictions that limit tobacco sales to age 21. Mr. Christie often recounts the death of his mother from lung cancer due to smoking.
"Tobacco 21 is trending in New Jersey. Two dozen New Jersey municipalities have already enacted local ordinances that move the age of sale to 21 including Paterson, Trenton and Princeton," shared Karen Blumenfeld, Esq., Executive Director of Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy (GASP). "If the bill is signed by the Governor, New Jersey will become the 3rd state after Hawaii and California to require age 21. We call on the Governor to step up and better protect our kids from a lifetime of deadly addiction."
About PTAF: The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation is the national leader in promoting Tobacco 21 legislation and publishes the website: Tobacco21.org.
About GASP: GASP is a 41-year old non-profit in Summit, NJ that focuses on emerging trends in tobacco control, tracks related laws and policies, and serves as a leading educational resource provider on many issues including tobacco age 21 and licensing e-cigarette retailers.
Rob Crane, MD. President, Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation
(614) 766-2211 Rob.Crane@PTAF.org
Karen Blumenfeld, Esq. Executive Director, New Jersey GASP
(908) 377-3900. KBlumenfeld@njgasp.org
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SOURCE Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation