Hawaii might ban cigarette sales to anyone under 100 in an effort to eventually ban cigarettes altogether.
A new bill sponsored by State Representative Richard Creagan calls for a gradual ban on cigarette sales, raising the age to buy cigarettes to 30 in 2020, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022, and 100 in 2024. According to the legislation, this will allow the state to “free smokers” from “this powerful addiction.”
Hawaii has among the highest tax rate on cigarettes. One reason behind the gradual rollout is to give the state time to figure out how to compensate for the $100 million in annual tax revenue from cigarette sales. The bill does not include tobacco products like cigars and e-cigarettes.
Hawaii was the first state to raise the minimum smoking age to 21 in 2016. California, New Jersey, Oregon, Maine, and Massachusetts followed suit. Hawaii’s legislature has yet to vote on the bill.