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Hawaii Might Be Banning Cigarettes: Why You Should Care

Earlier this year, Hawaii lawmakers proposed a bipartisan bill that would begin to eliminate cigarettes from the entire state over the next several years.  This new bill aims to first raise the legal purchasing age for tobacco to 100 years old.  That’s right, if approved, this new law would make it illegal for anyone under 100 to buy tobacco products by 2024.  This proposed bill is yet another step in the state’s path toward “keeping people healthy and alive in the Aloha State,” says Rep. Cynthia Thielen.

In the past few years, Hawaii has been working toward limiting the usage of tobacco products by increasing taxes, increasing regulations, and even banning smoking for people under the age of 21.  Thielen said that the previous law changes simply “poked at different portions of the problem.” She claims that this new bill would go right to the center of the problem and actually prohibit smoking as a whole. 

The bill would continuously raise the minimum legal smoking age each year for the next 4 years until the legal age is 100 in 2024.  This extended time frame will allow for the state to adjust to the lost tax revenue over time.  Although the bill doesn’t apply to cigars, chewing tobacco, or e-cigarettes, lawmakers are already working to address the issues with those products as well.

If you’re not a store owner in Hawaii, you’re probably wondering why you should be paying attention to this legislation.  Well, the answer is simple.  This could happen in your state, too.  As you probably know, the tobacco sales debate has been ongoing for decades and the cigarette has remained under fire for being “the deadliest artifact in the history of human civilization”. There are lobbyists and lawmakers across the country that aim to eliminate these products from American retail altogether and they have been making a lot of progress, in some states more than others.

As tobacco regulation and taxation continues to evolve, make sure you’re up-to-date on what’s happening in YOUR state and around the country.  The latest tobacco conversations around e-cigarettes and flavored tobacco products have been taking places on a broad scale, so if you’re not familiar with that debate you should check out our previous article now.

in News, Industry News, C-Store Trends, Retail