Hawaii politician Richard Creagan – who is also an emergency room doctor – has sponsored legislation that would ban sales of cigarettes to anyone under the age of 100.
He calls cigarettes an unreasonably dangerous and defective product that kills half of its long-term users, adding taxes and other regulations are not doing enough to get people to quit smoking. He believes the state is obligated to protect the public’s health in the same way the government does not allow free access to opioids or any prescription drugs.
The bill, if passed, would be phased in setting the minimum age next year at 30, to 40 in 2021, 50 by 2022 and 100 in 2024.
Hawaii was the first state to raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 from 18.
The bill is expected to be debated at committee this week.