Young people in Princeton, New Jersey, will no loner be able to buy cigarettes as the city increased to 21 the age for buying tobacco. On Monday, the city’s Health Board adopted new ordinance prohibiting tobacco sales to those under 21.
Thus Princeton becomes the seventh city in New Jersey having such a legislation. According to Global Advisors on Smokefree Policy, such a law already exists in Garfield, Bogota, Sayreville, Highland Park, Englewood, Teaneck. Common state legislation says that legal tobacco buying age is 19.
Board member George DiFerdinando says that better way to protect youth from initiating smoking is to increase legal age to buy tobacco products. Such a move has little impact on people who are currently smoking.
New law comes into action in three weeks and Princeton’s Department of Health is the body responsible for its enforcement.
In Princeton there are around 20 places where tobacco products and electronic cigarettes are sold. Shops violating the law would be subjected to a $250 fine for the first offence, $500 for the second offence and $1000 for every next offence.
Eric Blomgren, associate director of government affairs for the New Jersey Gasoline Convenience Store Automotive Association, is against the new legislation as considers that it would affect businesses. He disagrees with the idea that young people under 21 are allowed to vote and make military, but seems ridiculous that they cannot make personal choices regaring their habits. The law just puts a particular group of people out of smoking, but generally smoking is still allowed everywhere in the city.
One more opposer is Jorge Luis Armenteros, founder and president of A Little Taste of Cuba on Witherspoon Street. Students from Princeton University frequently come to his shop to buy tobacco products for different parties and special events. Armenteros claims that they are not selling addictive products but are helping people to share special moments in their lives.
In their turn, Health Board says that the law is needed as most smokers started to use cigarettes before age 19.