Trenton’s new cigarette purchase age is another useless law — Deminski
About a year ago, Gov. Christie vetoed a bill sponsored by State Sen. Richard Codey that would have raised the age to be legally sold cigarettes from 19 to 21. At the time of the veto, in expressing his disappointment, Codey said, "There is strong momentum at the local level for this initiative with towns adopting it across the state and it was only right that we do this at the statewide level."
Indeed, at the time of the veto 15 municipalities had already raised the age for tobacco to 21. That list keeps growing. Now Trenton has raised the legal age for buying cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, snuff, and even e-cigarettes to 21 within their city borders. The Health and Human Services department will soon be providing new signs for stores. Violation of the law will mean fines for stores of up to $1,000.
Another useless law that won't be enforced. Two years ago Trenton banned smoking in the city's parks. Not a single ticket was ever issued. Nor has any citation been issued for underage tobacco sales in half a decade in that city. So what's the point of this? A little chest thumping on the part of public officials to show how much they care about our youth? Youth that will still get the cigarettes they want with only slightly more inconvenience?
Codey has made the point over and over that his idea of enacting this statewide will keep young people from picking up the smoking habit to begin with. How ridiculous. Almost all teenagers who start smoking don't have their first one by walking into a store and buying them. They get one from a friend. They sneak one from their own parent's pack or older sibling's pack. All this does is put another law on the books for very little gain.
Codey, of course, says he still wants to try again for the statewide age of 21. Government once again playing the role of Daddy.
What do you think?
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