It's baaaaaaaack. Legislation to raise the age at which you can be sold cigarettes to 21 was approved by an Assembly panel Thursday which means the idea goes up for a vote before the full Assembly. Already approved by the Senate, that means the next stop is the governor's desk. If this sounds like a rerun it is. The same measure was vetoed by Christie in January of last year.

I'm not sure why the legislature wastes precious time on things they know the governor will oppose. Wouldn't it be smarter to wait for a new governor who might sign it into law and use this time to, I don't know, maybe brainstorm property taxes and school funding? Or better yet, how about let adults be adults and don't even entertain such nonsense?

If the state of New Jersey is willing to allow the sale of cigarettes and reap the taxes from those sales, why not recognize that the age of majority is 18? The age to be sold cigarettes was raised to 19 in 2006 and it was a mistake then. Raising it now to 21 cements NJ's nanny state status. At age 18 you are allowed to marry, sign legal contracts, serve your country without parental permission, rent or even buy a home should you be so lucky, etcetera. When it comes to drinking and smoking we treat adults like children. When it comes to drinking, our 21 drinking age only mystifies alcohol more and makes binge drinking all the more tempting. When it comes to smoking you're solving nothing by raising the purchase age. Most people start before the age of 18 anyway. Also, most start smoking by swiping one from their own parent's pack or bumming one off someone else. To say people will get hooked because their first smoke will be by walking into a store and purchasing a pack is patently ridiculous.

This will go nowhere for now. But with the next governor who knows? Are you in favor of treating adults like children? It's okay to fight for your country at 20 years old but not okay for that soldier to come home and drink a beer or buy a pack of cigarettes? The hypocrisy is amazing.

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