Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex/Morris) released the following statement Friday on the Christie administration’s refusal, once again, to use revenue from tobacco taxes to fund proven smoking prevention programs:
“I am beyond appalled that for a fifth year in a row, the Christie administration will spend no money on programs to help deter smoking in New Jersey. It’s even more outrageous as New Jersey’s rate of young people smoking has shown incredible decreases over the past decade, partly due to our state’s proactive approach to combat teen smoking.
“The Governor also vetoed legislation to increase the tobacco product purchasing age from 19 to 21. With the proliferation of E-Cigarettes, this increase is needed to help make sure we don’t allow future generations to become hooked nicotine.
“As the son of a parent taken too early from us by a smoking-related illness, this is a very personal issue. It is a proven fact that when people get hooked on tobacco at a young age, they stay with it much longer and have a much harder time quitting.
“I believe we all should ask Gov. Christie: Why would you not fund these proven-to-work programs?”