New Jersey becomes 3rd state to raise smoking age to 21

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Photo credit: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images

TRENTON, N.J.  — New Jersey has become the third state 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 where the smoking age is 21.

The restriction applies to tobacco products and electronic smoking devices. 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.