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Hawaii raises legal smoking age to 21

Know before you go to avoid the fine

Anyone who’s travelled to the USA at that awkward 18-20 year old period knows the sudden downgrading of their age entitlements. While Australians are permitted to drink when they hit 18, in the USA, where the legal drinking age is 21, Aussie 18-20 year olds are stuck with soft drinks.


And as of 1 January 2016, if you’re under the age of 21 and light up a cigarette in Hawaii, you’ll be committing a crime.


Hawaii is the first state in the USA to raise the tobacco sale age to 21, the state Governor David Ige signing landmark legislation to that effect late last week.


Any person under 21 years of age who violates the law will be subject to a US$10 fine for the first offence, and US$50 for a subsequent offence or 48-72 hours of community service.


Anyone caught selling tobacco products or electronic smoking devices to people under 21 faces a $500 fine for the first offence; and fines of between $500 and $2,000 for subsequent offences.


Ige also signed a bill banning smoking and e-cigarette use at state parks and beaches, acts already banned in all city and county parks other than those of Kaua'i County, Reuters reported.


At least 68 localities in eight states have also raised the minimum legal sale age for tobacco products to 21, including New York City.


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Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 22 June 2015

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