TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Two New Jersey lawmakers want to raise the minimum smoking age to 21.
A bill sponsored by Sens. Dick Codey and Joe Vitale would raise the minimum age for buying tobacco products and e-cigarette devices as well as regular cigarettes.
Codey says the legislation might help stop teenagers from picking up a bad habit.
Vitale cites studies showing that many smokers move from periodic to regular smoking between the ages of 18 and 21.
The legislation cleared the Senate health committee on Thursday by a 6-2 vote with one abstention.
The minimum age to buy tobacco products is 18 in all but four states.
The minimum age is 19 in New Jersey, Alabama, Alaska and Utah, plus the District of Columbia.
A similar bill has been introduced in the Assembly.