Rutherford Raised to 21 Age to Buy Tobacco


Council in Rutherford borough located in Bergen County, New Jersey, at the beginning of the current week voted unanimously for a law which increases age to buy nicotine products (tobacco and e-cigarettes) to 21 from current 19. The move makes Rutherford the ninth New Jersey municipality to pass such an ordinance.

Such a decision results from concerns about young people who start smoking from curiosity and in short time become addicted to smoking. Today more teens use e-cigarettes and hookah because they consider them safe, however, health experts have a different opinion on that. They say that e-cigarettes are even more dangerous than tobacco. Diseases caused by smoking may be prevented and that is the task of the government.

Eric Blomgren, associate director of government affairs for the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience Store and Automotive Association, was present on the meeting and he opposed the initiative. However, he was in minority and the majority spoke in favour of the proposed law.

At the beginning of the week the Tenafly Borough Council introduced its own “21 ordinance” to increase the legal age for tobacco consumption.

Karen Blumenfeld representing Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy said it is great that Rutherford joined other New Jersey municipalities who raised the age to buy tobacco to 21.

Last year Englewood first in Garden State municipality prohibited sale of tobacco products to young people under 21. Since then its example was follwed by Garfield,  Teaneck, Sayreville, Bogota, East Rutherford, Princeton, Highland Park.

In Bergen County more cities plan to pass similar ordinances to prevent young people from buying tobacco and e-cigarettes. For example, Westwood city is in the process of modifying its tobacco ordinance to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarette products to 21.

However, some municipalities in New Jersey said they will not raise legal age to buy tobacco. The talk is about North Plainfield and  Hackensack.

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