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Hawaii Aims to Ban Cigarettes – Should More States Do the Same?

Should more states ban smoking?

by Countable | Updated on 2.11.19

What’s the story?

  • Lawmakers in Hawaii have introduced legislation that would eventually raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco to 100. Electronic cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco would be exempted.

What would the bill do?

  • State Rep. Richard Creagan, a medical doctor, sponsored the bipartisan legislation that would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 30 in 2020, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022 and 100 in 2024.
  • H.B. 1509 says cigarettes are “considered the deadliest artifact in human history,” causing “more preventable disease, death, and disability than any other health issue” in the state.

What are both sides saying?

  • “In my view, you are taking people who are enslaved from a horrific addiction and freeing people from horrific enslavement,’’ Creagan told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
“We, as legislators, have a duty to do things to save people’s lives. If we don’t ban cigarettes, we are killing people.”
  • Lynn Kozlowski, an expert in tobacco policy who teaches at the State University of New York at Buffalo, told USA Today that he questions the efficacy of a ban.
  • “If you can use ways to make the public fully aware of how dangerous cigarettes are, understand the differential risks, differentially tax these products, that’s been shown to have an effect on bringing smoking down,’’ Kozlowski said.
“A ban is not a tool I would turn to at this time.’’

What do you think?

Should more states consider the banning of cigarettes? Raise the minimum age higher? Lower an age-requirement entirely? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Mixmike)

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Written by Countable

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(19)
  • J. scott
    Voted Yes
    last Tuesday
    ···

    They are raising the age for smoking initially to 30 then higher in successive years to 100 years and certain types of tobacco like cigars are exempt. When you read the fine print of the bill it’s different than the question sounds. I think they are doing something in their state to discourage people from getting hooked on tobacco. I think every state should do whatever they can to discourage new smokers and to provide help quitting smoking to those who do. Smoking is a plague of death on young and old. We shouldn’t just give up because people will find other ways to get it.

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  • Larry
    Voted No
    last Monday
    ···

    Prohibition does not accomplish the goal people would like. The government doesn't have any business trying to replave your mommy. What Prohibition does do is create black markets, breed contempt for the law, ruin people's lives, increase the burden on the justice system, empower organized crime, increase government power, increase tax burden, and many other unintended consequences.

    Like (3)
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  • Ken
    Voted Maybe
    last Tuesday
    ···

    A survey just released showed that teen smoking has risen 38%. That is an alarming statistic.

    Like (2)
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  • Laurie
    Voted No
    last Tuesday
    ···

    Prohibition doesn't work, for anything. Legal means it is regulated and taxed Black market means cartels, more kids getting access, and more people dying due to unregulated product This applies to everything LEARN YOU MORONS

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  • Ken
    Voted Maybe
    last Tuesday
    ···

    I'd add banning ignorance but that would throw a wrench in our 2 party political system.

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  • Caroline
    Voted Yes
    last Wednesday
    ···

    They cause cancer, emphysema, COPD, asthma, allergies, etc. They’re a waste of hard earned money, damage clothes and furniture, make breathing for other harder, especially innocent secondhand people and animals.

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  • Kyle
    Voted No
    last Tuesday
    ···

    We know how to treat ADDICTION - address the social and economic factors that lead to substance abuse and address the *disease* through a combination of supportive therapies. It doesn't matter if the substance is heroin, alcohol or tobacco.

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  • Marcia
    Voted No
    last Monday
    ···

    Another fake attempt to show concern for our lives by proscribing our individual behavior. Native Americans were not addicted to the Peace Pipe. It's dangerous behavior, stupid and annoying, but do we need to criminalize it? Smoking is on the wane as a result of public, political will. It affects the 'general' welfare FAR less than alcohol abuse, drunk driving, and gun violence. Smokers die younger and save SS money. If you have to do it, to assert your moral authority, add on fries and coke so we can save on dialysis treatments too.

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  • tituswife
    Voted No
    last Tuesday
    ···

    I've never smoked, but I can emphathise with those who are addicted. What do we do in 2020, when it's now a crime to purchase cigarettes if you're 29, when it wasn't this year? This will create a black market, so most lawmakers won't go for it. I'm also opposed, because it treats adults like children - let the government tell you how to live!

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  • Curt
    Voted No
    last Monday
    ···

    Politicians leave us the hell alone. Q- uit acting like you care for us. All you care about is ill gotten gaines. Show your taxes to us congress!

    Like (1)
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  • HardcoreModerate
    Voted No
    last Tuesday
    ···

    Smoking is stupid and nobody should do it, BUT it is not the government's place to make that decision for us. It's not like a ban would stop people from smoking anyway - just look at what happened with alcohol back in the day, or marijuana currently.

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  • Chris
    Voted No
    last Tuesday
    ···

    It's called INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY for a reason. If you cant do better focusing on actual issues you DON'T belong in any elected position. This is a NON realist action with no ACTUAL problem solving thought process used.

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  • Tricia
    Voted No
    last Tuesday
    ···

    It's my body. It's my lungs. I'm already getting robbed when I buy a pack. Overstepping here. What about FREEDOM of choice? Again, overstepping.

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  • Judy
    Voted Yes
    last Tuesday
    ···

    Although the people in Hawaii may be a lot better off without cigarettes, going cold turkey is difficult. I think that the age for buying cigarettes should be raised in all states to 25 years old. With education and new laws it should be easier to eradicate this horrible practice. It's not about freedom to do what you want because second hand smoke it's not containable. I'd like to see a time where people won't even believe that this was a common practice. They stop smoking in restaurants and bars and people said that would never work out and yet not only has it worked out fine, but most people are happier eating in a place where there isn't cigarette smoke, cigar smoke or even worse pipes being smoked with their varieties of flavored smoke. Smoking is an abomination. It should be banned for the common good. We should be ashamed of ourselves for not doing it sooner, think of all the lives that could have been saved. I personally lost my grandfather to esophageal and stomach cancer. It was not a pretty way to go. I was 12, and they wouldn't even let me see him in the end. I lost my father to lung cancer that went throughout the body and the brain. I stayed with him throughout his illness and the coma at the end. It took three days for him to die, it was not pretty. I also lost my sister-in-law to smoking. She developed lung cancer and passed at home. My brother-in-law took care of her until the end. It was very hard on him. All these people would have died from something but they didn't have to die from smoking. The cost to people is not just the money, all of us suffered greatly. The total waste of life when it could have been stopped is staggering. I can remember the day in 1964 the Surgeon General put the warning on cigarette packages saying that they could cause cancer and other illness. I remember what my father said. The government would never have allowed cigarette smoking to go on if it was truly that bad for people. The government subsidized tobacco growers after all. They wouldn't allow them to make the cigarettes if they were so bad. Later in life he found out how wrong he was. He was very angry. He did manage to quit smoking before he died and was so proud of himself for doing it. Too little, too late. Congratulations, Hawaii. We should all follow your example. You should be proud.

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  • Martha
    Voted Yes
    last Tuesday
    ···

    What a novel idea ban a known health hazard. Why didn't someone think of this sooner. Oh, I forgot big tobacco spent a lot of money lobbying to keep themselves in business and lied about the harm that smoking causes as well as lied about how addictive their products are.

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  • Stephanie
    Voted No
    last Tuesday
    ···

    We can not afford the govt it would take to protect us from ourselves. - Ronald Reagan

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  • BiG-G
    Voted No
    last Monday
    ···

    I believe that this would be against the Bill of rights. And other Constitutional rights giving to Us by the Constitution of the United States. Remember what happened with prohabition? This would drive smoking under ground. If some one want s to smoke let them as long as it is a desanated area.

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  • DavidBec
    Voted Yes
    last Tuesday
    ···

    Addiction to cigarettes, next to vaping, and on and on. People like getting high on something. I don't like corporate cigarette companies. They are Trumpian level liars.

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  • KyleCorley
    Voted Maybe
    last Tuesday
    ···

    It is the individuals choice to smoke they know the harms it does but their's to make not the government's decision. It would be nice to discourage new smokers.

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