EXPLAINER: Why expansion of vaccine to smokers caused a stir

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey made millions of people eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, including smokers, a move that prompted gripes about them skipping to the front of the inoculation line. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy made people 65 and older and those 16 and older with medical conditions eligible to get the vaccine, beginning Thursday. New Jersey’s list of conditions? mirrors that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and includes cancer, kidney disease and other illnesses. Smokers are on the list because they’re at “significant risk” from COVID-19. The state health department points out that nicotine is addictive and that people who smoke should quit.