After hearing testimony from the Department of Health on its efforts to reduce and prevent tobacco use in New Jersey at Monday’s meeting of the Assembly Budget Committee, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) released the following statement:
“While tobacco use has declined over the years, smoking remains a serious problem in New Jersey. I appreciate efforts by the Department of Health to work diligently to curb this issue, but significant challenges remain, including addressing the popular and potentially dangerous vaping trend among youth.
“We’ve recently taken significant steps to combat smoking in New Jersey. We raised the minimum age to buy tobacco from 19 to 21, banned smoking in State-owned public areas like beaches, parks and historic sites, and invested nearly $7 million from the state’s tobacco tax collection to help combat smoking and vaping. Building upon these efforts, I’ve introduced legislation (A-5028) to prohibit smoking within the outdoor pick-up and drop-off areas of airports. This will help reduce secondhand smoke in these highly trafficked areas.
“By educating the public on the dangers of smoking and helping tobacco users get the support they need to quit, we can make New Jersey a healthier place to live for all.”