Hawaii Becomes First U.S. State To Raise Smoking Age To 21
The governor of Hawaii signed a bill on Friday to raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21, thus officially making it the first American state to do so. This law will become effective on the 1st of January, 2016. It will ban the purchase of cigarettes for underage minors, as well as making electronic cigarettes illegal too.
The states of Washington D.C. and California are also pushing to raise the legal smoking age up to 21 as well. While some states have the legal age as high as 19 years of age, some cities throughout the United States have already raised the age to 21, such as New York City.
With every bill, however, there are opponents against it. The opposition of this bill argues that the limitations for the new law doesn’t give late teens the opportunity of freedom, as they are considered as young adults. It also limits the choices in other situations such as joining the army.
This is a big step for the state of Hawaii, as tobacco has killed 1,400 people and costs up to around $526 million in medical bills a year according to The Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.