New Jersey is third state to raise smoking age to 21

New Jersey joins California and Hawaii as the only states that you have to be 21 years old to smoke. (Shutterstock image)

New Jersey joins California and Hawaii as the only states that you have to be 21 years old to smoke. (Shutterstock image)

New Jersey has become the third state in the country to raise its smoking age to 21.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed into law Friday a measure that raises the age from 19.

Hawaii and California are the only other states whose smoking age is 21.

The restriction applies to tobacco products and electronic smoking devices.

The new law takes effect on Nov 1, 2017.

Read text of S359

Christie vetoed a similar measure last year.

On Friday he cited the strain on the health care system caused by tobacco-related illnesses.

He also noted that his mother died from the effects of smoking and said raising the age gives young people more time to better understand smoking’s dangers.

Update: The story has been updated to include the date when the law will take effect.

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