but in a bit of apparent cleverness Hawaii is considering raising the minimum smoking age to 100. The distant island state of Hawaii is considering amending it's current smoking regulations to incrementally raise the legal age at which anyone can purchase cigarettes to 100!
The legislation was proposed by democratic state representative Richard Creagan, and if it passes and it is implemented would ultimately lead to an unprecedented and effective ban on the sale of cigarettes in Hawaii, making it the first US state to attempt an outright ban. Similar to other US states, currently Hawaiians must be 21 in order to be able to purchase cigarettes. Under this legislative proposal the age would rise to 30 in 2020, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022, 60 in 2023, and then from 60 to 100 in 2024.
Luckily for everyone who has given up the terrible habit of smoking and has switched to much less harmful vaping, the age limit would not apply to safer alternatives such as e-cigarettes, eLiquids, vape devices, and snus.
Representative Creagan, who is in fact a doctor, does not think that the current tax measures and health warnings are being effective at curbing smoking rates. “It’s slowing it down, but it’s not stopping the problem” he said, continuing; “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 highly lethal.”
Creagan added that cigarettes should be taken as seriously as certain banned substances. “The state is obliged to protect the public’s health,” he said. “We don’t allow people free access to opioids, for instance, or any prescription drugs.” Rep. Creagan’s bill has two other sponsors and is expected to be heard by the House Health Committee in the following few days.
A little bit too much of the old nanny state in this bit of legislation for my taste, this pseudo-ban is akin to raising the age to buy a dial up modem to 100. Although arguably old electronic tech will not kill you like cigarettes will, technology has of course progressed and we have nicotine alternatives like eLiquids and vaping now. There's no reason for the state to get involved and attempt to regulate peoples behavior when the market is already ahead of the game and offering desirable options for consumers.