Hawaii raises legal smoking age to 21; Military backs up new law
Jan 05, 2016 10:22 AM EST
On January 1st, Hawaii became the first state in the nation to rise the legal smoking age to 21. Both traditional and electronic cigarettes are included in the age rise for legal smoking, in hope to prevent youngsters developing an unhealthy addiction to the deadly product.
According to a report from Abc news, Lola Irvin, a member of the Hawaii Department of health explained how one in four students in Hawaii's high school will try their first cigarette each year and one in three who get hooked with the addiction will die prematurely. Public Health Officials are hoping that raising the legal age to smoke will help prevent youngsters getting the hands on cigarettes, hence, giving them less opportunity to become hooked on the product at such a young age, and while they are most vulnerable.
A report from Denver Post stated how the percentage of Hawaii public high school students smoking both electronic and traditional cigarettes has quadrupled over four years. This being so, the Department of Health for Hawaii took serious actions to prevent the serious rise amongst young teens and adults. Though Hawaii is the first state to have implanted the law, over 100 cities and countries have already done so, and have seen a 50 percent lower percentage of smokers within a decade.
Another report from Merced Sun Star included how Hawaii has received support and praise from the military which added that their bases would comply with the state law. Spokesperson for the Navy Region Hawaii Bill Doughty explained, "We see it as a fitness and readiness issue, when we can prevent sailors from smoking or using tobacco, if we can get them to quit, then that improves their fitness and readiness, and it saves them a ton of money, too."
Despite the new law being implemented on the first day of the New Year, numerous illegal cigarette sales are still happening on a daily basis. Hawaii is still doing they best to confront the potentially dangerous issues, however, a lot of the work to needed to help stop this issues is down to educating the youth, store owners, and the general public.