Along with raising the smoking age to 21, the Governor of Hawaii is also planning to sign a bill that will ban electronic cigarettes in the state. There have been some protests about the age limit increase, saying that an adult is age 18, there’s no reason to change it to 21.
Electronic Cigarette Ban
Governor David Ige has signed Act 19 (HB940) into law. The bill will ban electronic cigarettes anywhere regular cigarette smoking is banned. The bill states that it would confuse the public and create chaos in the workforce. Not having this ban would also cause a problem with the progress of an establishment being considered fully smoke free. The bill also states that electronic cigarette vapor can be just as harmful to the general public as tobacco cigarettes because children and pregnant women would still breathe in the aerosolized nicotine and other toxic substances that travel through the air. It complies further with the clean air act within the state, stating that the electronic cigarettes aren’t yet regulated and the harmful products will travel to reach the general public. Hawaii is the fourth state in the nation to adopt this type of bill, closely following Utah, New Jersey, and North Dakota.
The ban electronic cigarettes bill makes it clear that they are unlawful for use anywhere in the state of Hawaii where smoking is already prohibited. There’s a wide variety of electronic cigarettes available and depending on the design, operation, the toxins that are contained within determine the health risks that could be harmful to the general public. The Hawaii Department of Health Director, Dr. Virginia Pressler, has said that we have found that smoking tobacco is dangerous after many years of unrestricted use, and that people could be potentially harmed as a result of not including a ban electronic cigarettes law as part of our smoke-free laws.
Along with the current bill to ban electronic cigarettes, another bill to increase the tobacco age to 21 in Hawaii has already been sent to the state congress. The Senate Bill 1030 passed the Legislature and will go to Governor David Ige’s desk for his signature. The bill will raise the smoking age to 21. No one under the age of 21 may purchase or consume any tobacco products in a public place. It will include the electronic cigarette as well. Ige is uncertain as to whether he will sign the bill, adding that if he does, it will take affect the beginning in the New Year. Along with this bill to ban electronic cigarettes will be fines that are assessed if you are underage trying to purchase tobacco in the state of Hawaii. The first offense will be $10, with $50 being for more offenses, as well as community service. Anyone caught selling the products to those underage could see themselves with a fine that ranges anywhere from $500 to $2,000.
Hawaii is taking the lead in making sure the younger generation stays as healthy as possible by trying to keep nicotine out of their hands. Those who travel to Hawaii will need to be aware of this new law.