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TRENTON - New Jersey has become the third state in the country to raise its smoking age to 21.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed into law Friday a measure that raises the age from 19.
Hawaii and California are the only other states whose smoking age is 21.
The restriction applies to tobacco products and electronic smoking devices.
Christie vetoed a similar measure last year.
On Friday he cited the strain on the health care system caused by tobacco-related illnesses.
He also noted that his mother died from the effects of smoking and said raising the age gives young people more time to better understand smoking’s dangers.