A new Hawaii bill is looking to ban cigarettes from anyone under the age of 100.
Hawaii’s State House has just announced a new bill that would call for a phased ban on cigarette sales in the state by 2024. “The legislature finds that the cigarette is considered the deadliest artifact in human history.”
Hawaii has become well-known for its strict cigarette sales laws. Back in 2016, it became the first state to raise the age requirement for purchasing cigarettes to 21. Today, the state wants to gradually raise the age limit to 30 by next year, and up to 40, 50 and 60 in each subsequent year, and up to 100 by 2024.
Hawaii Tribune-Herald spoke to Rep. Richard Creagan, who also is an emergency room doctor, to discuss the logic behind the new bill. “Basically, we essentially have a group who are heavily addicted — in my view, enslaved by a ridiculously bad industry — which has enslaved them by designing a cigarette that is highly addictive, knowing that it was highly lethal. And, it is,” said Creagan. The bill would not apply to e-cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco.
The bill also highlights that Hawaii “is suffering from its own addiction to cigarettes in the form of the large sums of money that the State receives from state cigarette sales taxes,” to the tune of $100 million annually. The bill seeks to have the law rollout gradually so the state can find a way to substitute the loss of cigarette tax.
According to CNN, federal law requires each state to set the minimum tobacco-purchasing age to 18. The majority of states have the age set to 18 with the exception of four that have bumped it to 19.