Hawaii Legislation Aims to Ban Cigarettes

Cigars, chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes would not be impacted by the proposed legislation.

A lawmaker in Hawaii has proposed a gradual plan to ban cigarettes in the state.

According to a report by the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Rep. Richard Creagan has proposed a bill that would end cigarette sales by aggressively increasing the minimum age to purchase cigarettes over the next several years until it reaches 100.

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His bill, HB 1509, would increase the minimum age to purchase cigarettes to 30 in 2020, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022, 60 in 2023, and 100 in 2024.

Cigars, chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes would not be impacted by the bill. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported that Creagan, who is a physician, sees these products as safer alternatives to cigarettes.

“The state is obliged to protect the public’s health,” Creagan told the paper. “We don’t allow people free access to opioids, for instance, or any prescription drugs,” Creagan said.

Creagan said he does support the legalization of marijuana. He noted it was not as addictive or as dangerous to a person’s health.

The bill is expected to be heard this week by the House Health Committee.