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February 05, 2019

Hawaii is the first state preparing to ban cigarette sales

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Hawaii may be the first state to ban cigarette sales completely; the Lawmakers have drafted a bill that will end cigarette sales by 2024.

Now the state's legislature is working towards outlawing it outrightly by 2024: it will happen progressively, and by 2020 the minimum age for purchasing cigarettes will be raised to 30.

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Then by 2022, the minimum age will be 50, and two years later anyone under 100 will be prohibited from buying cigarettes. The House Bill 1509 is still in the oven, its first reading was last week, and it's been assigned to committees.

The bill has no hearing yet, but it will go through the standard procedure before eventually becoming law. Two Democrats and one Republican-drafted the bill; they firmly believe this will help stop young people from smoking.

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Back in 2016, the state that's known for its perfect vacation banned the sale of cigarettes to anyone under 21. Governor David Ige, signed the act then, raising the minimum age of buying cigarettes and using electronic smoking devices.

“Taking this step forward to prohibit anyone under the age of 21 of smoking, purchasing, possessing is another step to reduce the impact that smoking has on our community” - the governor had said at the signing ceremony. 

Lola Irvin, the administrator of the chronic disease prevention and health prevention division of the state Department of Health, mentioned that a large percentage of smokers start smoking before the age of 21 and this law will help a lot in reducing the use of cigarettes.

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There were various reactions to the new development; when a worker in E-Cig City shop was asked how he feels about the new law, he said: E-cigs are better for young people, and he knows people who have switched from cigarettes to the electronic device because they are healthier.

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The young man also lamented that sales in his shop are going to reduce drastically when the law comes into effect since the majority of his customers are between 18 and 21.

The fine for breaking the new rule is 500 dollars, and anyone caught subsequently would be fined anywhere between 500 to 2000 dollars. 

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