New Jersey Wants to Raise Its Smoking Age to 21, Too
"This has now truly become a regional, if not national, effort."
Thus spoke City Council Speaker Christine Quinn at a press conference yesterday. Former-governor-turned-state-senator Richard Codey and New Jersey Assemblyman Ruben Ramos came to City Hall to join her in previewing their own version of a bill announced in New York City less than a month ago: a measure to boost the age at which you can buy cigarettes to 21. Quinn is a forerunner of the bill that has placed her directly in front of an issue Bloomberg has championed--a position that could injure her campaign more than help it.
"Less than a month after our initial announcement, our great neighboring state of New Jersey is planning to introduce legislation to do exactly the same thing: raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21," Quinn said. The provision has also been introduced in Albany to apply on a statewide level.
In the council, the status of the smoking bill here is still uncertain; of course, Bloomberg has shown support, citing its success in Britain and a stagnant teenage smoking rate as justifications after once opposing the bill as unnecessary. But maybe a little oomph from the Garden State could help. And luckily, our neighbors to the west don't have a mayoral race to worry about.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.