Hawaii’s Smoking Age Rises to 21

Dec 29, 2015

Credit Mariah OConnell / Flickr

Hawaii will become the first state in the nation to raise the minimum age for tobacco sales to 21 beginning on January 1st.  A secondary measure will prohibit the sales of electronic cigarettes (E-Cigarettes) to anyone under 21.

Hawai‘i's State Department of Health will begin a three month campaign to remind the public about the change following beginning Friday.  Following that grace period police will begin enforcing the ban.  Those under twenty-one caught buying tobacco will be fined $10 for each offense and $50 for repeat offences.

Although smoking rates have drastically decreased, the use of electronic cigarettes has risen drastically jumping more than 300% in the last 4 years.  Lola Irvin is with the Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion Division.  

Businesses caught selling to underage buyers will be fined $500 for the first offence and up to  $2,000 for each subsequent offence

The US Marine Corps will also participate with the new law, saying that any enlisted personal under 21 could face still penalties.