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S.F. Looks at Raising Minimum Age for Buying Tobacco to 21

Smoking Woman

San Francisco would become the second major city in the country, after New York, to raise the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 under legislation to be introduced Tuesday by Supervisor Scott Wiener.

The policy has gained traction around the country, with New York City making the change in 2014 and the state of Hawaii adopting it earlier this year. Santa Clara County is also one of about 80 governments around the country that have raised the cigarette buying age to 21, the same threshold as buying alcohol.

An attempt to pass the same law in the California Legislature stalled this year.

Wiener authored the San Francisco legislation, which is co-sponsored by Supervisor Eric Mar. The two were the lead backers of a failed effort to levy a tax on soda and other sugary drinks at the ballot last year and have often linked the soda and tobacco industries in their discussions about the importance of government regulating matters of public health.

“Cigarettes are one of the leading causes of death and illness in the country,” Wiener said. “We need to do everything in our power to reduce smoking, and when you make it harder for young people to access cigarettes, they smoke less.”

But even if Wiener and Mar secure the backing of their fellow supervisors and the mayor, they could be in for a rough road ahead. The Sonoma County town of Healdsburg passed the same legislation this summer, but said it wouldn’t enforce it after legal threats from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2015 in Tobacco Articles

 

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Hawaii Should Snuff its Irrational Smoking Ban

Hawaii

The state of Hawaii is known for surf, sand, picturesque sunsets and hard bodies. The state tourism board and glossy brochures persuade vacationers from the mainland to hop on over for swimming, snorkeling, surfing, fishing, hiking around volcanoes and more.

The state oozes with the image of health and vitality; which may be why state politicians have decided to show no aloha for tobacco.

On June 19, Governor David Ige signed legislation that would ban anyone under the age of 21 from buying or smoking cigarettes. The ban also applies to electronic smoking devices and doesn’t include a grandfather clause, so a 20-year-old who can smoke legally now will be forced to quit cold turkey when the law takes effect on January 1.

Speaking at the bill signing in Honolulu, Gov. Ige said, “Taking this step forward to prohibit anyone under the age of 21 of smoking, purchasing, possessing, is another step to reduce the impact that smoking has on our community.”

Any shop caught selling tobacco to an adult between the ages of 18 and 21 will be fined $500 for the first offense and each violation after that will range between $500 to $2,000. Anybody under 21 caught smoking by the cops will be subject to a $10 fine for the first offense and $50 thereafter. People in Hawaii buy Davidoff cigarettes online from http://www.mydiscountcigarette.net/buy/davidoff

This law also applies to the 116,000 active duty service members and their families who are stationed in the Aloha state, many of whom are smokers – all with the added indignity of them having zero say in the process because many soldiers are registered to vote in their home states.

According to a 2011 Department of Defense health-related behaviors survey, more than 1 in 4 active-duty service members ages 18-20 smoke.

The Marine Corps has the most young smokers by percentage, at 31.6 percent. The Army, which has more than 22,000 soldiers on Hawaii, comes in second, at 30.8 percent, followed by the Navy, at 25.5 percent, the Coast Guard, at 18.2 percent, and the Air Force, with 17.5 percent.

And now the Hawaiian state government is telling these brave men and women that they’re adult enough to enlist in the military, fly helicopters, shoot guns and put their lives on the line to protect our freedom, but not adult enough to make their own health decisions.

I thought we resolved the debate on what constitutes an adult with the 26th Amendment to the Constitution in 1971, when we lowered the voting age in federal elections from 21 to 18 years?

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Tobacco News

 

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Hawaii To Raise Smoking Age To 21

Hawaii

A bill that would make Hawaii the first state to raise the legal smoking age to 21 cleared the Legislature on Friday and is headed to the governor. The bill would prevent adolescents from smoking, buying or possessing both traditional and electronic cigarettes.

“It’s definitely groundbreaking legislation,” said Jessica Yamauchi, executive director of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii, which pushed for the bill. “It’s amazing to be the first state in something. That’s very exciting for us.” Gov. David Ige hasn’t yet decided whether he will sign the bill, and his staff has to vet all bills for legal issues, he said.

“The departments will be doing their review and then we’ll have the opportunity to look at it,” Ige said. Those caught breaking the rules would be fined $10 for the first offense, and subsequent violations would lead to a $50 fine or mandatory community service. Dozens of local governments have similar bans, including Hawaii County and New York City.

According to the state Department of Heath, 5,600 kids in Hawaii try smoking each year, and 90 percent of daily smokers begin the habit before age 19.Most teens prefer to buy online cigarettes with flavour. “Today we have the opportunity to change the paradigm,” said Democratic state Sen. Rosalyn Baker, who introduced the bill.

Smoking prevalence would fall an estimated 12 percent if the minimum smoking age was raised to 21, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine, which is part of the National Academy of Sciences. The favorite flavors among teens who use electronic cigarettes are sweet tart and “unicorn puke, which is described as a combination of every flavor of Skittle in one,” Baker said.

“While the industry is not allowed to directly market to children, it is still developing packaging and advertising products in ways that appeal to children,” she said. Sabrina Olaes, 17, got involved in promoting the legislation after finding herself in restrooms full of electronic cigarette fumes when her classmates vaped at her high school.

“You feel like you want to hold your breath because you don’t want to smell what they’re smoking,” Olaes said. “It’s pretty sad to know that they’ve fallen under the addiction.” Opponents say it’s unfair that a military veteran returning from service could be prevented from smoking.

“It is not right because you are deemed an adult when you turn 18,” said Michelle Johnston, owner of Sub Ohm Vapes in Kailua-Kona, on Hawaii’s Big Island. “You can sign up and be in the military and basically give your life for your country. You can vote,” she said. “Why shouldn’t you be able to choose if you want to buy tobacco products or vaping products, when you’re considered a legal adult?” Democratic Sen. Gil Riviere, who voted against the bill in the 19-4 vote, said if the state wants to eliminate smoking, it should ban it for everyone.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2015 in Tobacco News

 

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