New Jersey became the third state to raise the age for buying cigarettes and tobacco products to 21 under a law signed Friday by Gov. Chris Christie.
The law takes effect Nov. 1.
The law raises the minimum age for buying and selling both tobacco and electronic smoking devices from 19 to 21. More teenagers have "vaped" or smoked e-cigs than regular tobacco products in recent years, and the measure is intended to prevent both.
Only California and Hawaii have similar age restrictions.
Young people don't "fully comprehend the potential for addiction, as well as the devastating long-term effects smoking can have on their health," said Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, an Englewood Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill. Raising the purchasing age, she said, will enable them to "mature more before making this potentially life-altering decision."