Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation last Friday that paves the way for New Jersey to become the third state to raise its minimum age to buy tobacco to 21 years old.
The new law, which passed a General Assembly vote last month, will affect the sale of cigars and all other tobacco products, including electronic tobacco devices. It will go into effect on November 1.
New Jersey joins Hawaii and California as the only other states to have officially raised the minimum tobacco-purchase age to 21. This list could grow, though, as lawmakers in Maine and Oregon have passed similar laws that are awaiting signatures from their respective governors.
Additionally, many U.S. municipalities have already adjusted their local laws to hike minimum-purchase age for tobacco to 21 years old. Currently, at least 217 localities, including New York City and Boston, have increased the tobacco-purchase age to 21 years old.