Hawaii considers raising legal smoking age to 100

Hawaii considers raising legal smoking age to 100

Hawaii considers raising legal smoking age to 100

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports Democratic state Rep. Richard Creagan has proposed legislation that aims to make the state the first to prohibit the sale of cigarettes.

Democratic state Rep. Richard Creagan's bill would raise the minimum legal smoking age, now set at 21, in stages - to 30 starting in 2020 and eventually to 100 by 2024.

Now, the new bill calls for raising the cigarette-buying age to 30 by next year, up to 40, 50 and 60 in each subsequent year, and up to 100 by 2024.

Hawaii now allows cigarettes to be sold to anyone 21 or older.

'It's slowing it down, but it's not stopping the problem, ' he said.

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"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 is highly lethal", Creegan said. Most states' legal age for purchase of cigarettes is 18.

Hawaii also has the fifth-highest cigarette tax rate in the U.S. at $3.20 per 20-pack of cigarettes. If approved, the restrictions would only apply to cigarettes-not e-cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco. "And, it is", he told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. "This is more lethal, more unsafe than any prescription drug, and it is more addicting".

"We don't allow people free access to opioids, for instance, or any prescription drugs", Creagan said. In July, state senator Dru Kanuha proposed a bill to increase excise taxes on cigarettes from 16 to 21 cents.

Creagan's bill is slated to be taken up by a state House committee this week.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the US, causing more deaths every year than the following combined: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries and firearm-related incidents.

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