In January 2016, Governor Chris Christie rejected a bill (S359), sponsored by Senator Codey, that would have banned the sale of tobacco and vaping products for anyone under the age of 21 in the state of New Jersey. However, over a dozen municipalities across the state have enacted ordinances raising the legal age of tobacco and e-cigarette sales from 19 to 21, with Maplewood being the latest — and the first in Essex County.
Will Montclair join the growing list? Baristanet reached out to the Mayor and Township Council to find out how each of them feel on the issue. Fourth Ward Councilor Renee Baskerville responded saying she is in favor of raising the legal age.
“I am very much in favor of banning the sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes for those under 21yo. I will be happy to introduce that at our next council meeting! Now that this council seems to be moving in a more interconnected direction and getting involved with state, national and universal issues, I am excited to begin to take a stance on major issues of importance with our council. This certain is one of those issues.”
Deputy Mayor Robert Russo agrees, “I wish we could ban cigarette smoking everywhere for everyone! But it’s a free society with individual choice as our hallmark. We just need to protect young people from the health hazards of smoking and the elderly from second hand smoke’s bad effects. So yes, for me, sales of tobacco under 21 should be banned.”
What do you think? Should Montclair (and other area towns in NJ) raise the legal age to purchase cigarettes to 21? Take our poll: