New Jersey will also raise tobacco purchase age to 21

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New Jersey and New York might not agree on a lot of things, but they now agree on what age people should purchase tobacco.

New Jersey legislators will also attempt to raise the minimum age requirement to buy tobacco products from 19 to 21, as New York lawmakers promised to do last month.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said preventing youth smoking is now “a regional effort.”

New Jersey state senator Richard J. Codey, who will sponsor the bill, said the joint effort would make it impossible to cross state lines to purchase cigarettes underage.

“Neighboring states need to work together and that is what we are doing today,” he said.

About 14 percent of New Jersey high school students smoke, according to a 2010 study. In New York, the youth smoking rate has been at 8.5 percent since 2007.

“I am grateful that New Jersey is taking our proposal a step further to protect youth from the harmful health effects of smoking,” Quinn said.

The Council is expected to approve the bill this summer, officials said.



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