Hawaii Set To Become First State To Raise Legal Smoking Age To 21
According to Curtis Skinner from Yahoo News, Hawaii will become the first state to raise the legal age for smokers (and users of electronic cigarettes) to 21 — instead of 18, which is what most states require. On Friday, this bill was passed by the Senate with a vote of 19 to 4 and has already cleared the house. This follows years of them attempting to manage and educate people about smoking. Lawmakers apparently feel as though this, combined with raising cigarette taxes will benefit their island’s population.
CNN states that this bill was sponsored by Senator Rosalyn Baker, along with others. She commented that opponents have argued this bill limits people’s freedom of choice, but she believes, “giving someone the choice to have lung cancer is not a good choice.”
Governor David Ige has yet to approve this measure. His spokeswoman, Jodi Leong, said he’d only make a final decision after he had time to review the bill this week. However, there are some places (e.g. New York City, Hawaii County) that have already raised the legal smoking age to 21, so it wouldn’t be the first place to do so, just the first state. Other state’s lawmakers, such as Washington and California, are also making this same push in recent months.