Starting in three weeks, people under 21 will not be able to purchase tobacco products in the town of Princeton.
The Princeton Board of Health last night approved the ordinance they unanimously introduced last month to ban the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco and nicotine products for people under the age of 21, making Princeton the fifth town in New Jersey to enact such a law.
The legal age to buy cigarettes in New Jersey is 19, but municipalities can adopt their own ordinances increasing the age.
According to a Surgeon General report more than 1,200 people in the United States die due to smoking each day. For each of those deaths, at least two youth or young adults become regular smokers each day. Almost 90 percent of those replacement smokers smoke their first cigarette by age 18. Young adults often influence their peers and buy cigarettes for friends who are under age.
The health department will be responsible for enforcing the new law. The fine for violating the law is $250 for the first offense, $500 for the second offense, and $1,000 for the third and subsequent violations.
A representative from the kiosk on Palmer Square and the owner of A Little Taste of Cuba both voiced opposition to the ordinance.
In 2013, Princeton became the first town in Mercer County to ban smoking in public places.