Here's an interesting thought on how to ban smoking - Blog - 89.9 The Wave
February 5, 2019 | by: Chris

Here’s an interesting thought on how to ban smoking

Well, the government in Hawaii is considering a new law on smoking.  If it passes, you’ll still be able to buy cigarettes but only after you turn 100 years old.

(CNN)“The legislature finds that the cigarette is considered the deadliest artifact in human history.”

So begins the text of a new bill introduced in Hawaii’s State House, calling for a phased ban on cigarette sales in the state by 2024.

Hawaii has some of the most restrictive cigarette laws in the nation. In 2016, it became the first state to raise the age to buy cigarettes to 21. Now, its new bill calls for raising the cigarette-buying age to 30 by next year, up to 40, 50 and 60 in each subsequent year, and up to 100 by 2024.

That would effectively clear Hawaii’s store shelves of cigarettes, although tourists could still bring them in.

And curiously, Hawaii would offer its centenarians the chance to buy cigarettes near the end of their life — if they could find them.

The age limits would not apply to e-cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco.

Federal law requires states to set the minimum tobacco-purchasing age at 18, and the government enforces the measure by withholding FEMA grants from states who don’t comply. Currently, most states allow 18-year-olds to buy cigarettes, and four have raised the minimum age to 19.

The bill notes that Hawaii “is suffering from its own addiction to cigarettes in the form of the large sums of money that the State receives from state cigarette sales taxes,” to the tune of $100 million annually.

One reason for the law’s staggered roll out is to give the state time to find ways to adjust for the lost cigarette tax revenue.

In 2015, the National Academy of Sciences released a report that argued increasing the age to buy tobacco to 21 would have a “considerable impact” on the age at which someone takes their first puff. The report also suggested “if someone is not a regular tobacco user by age 25, it is highly unlikely he or she will become one.”

Unlike Second Amendment gun rights, the US Constitution does not recognize smoking as a fundamental right. In 2012, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling against a smoker who challenged an anti-smoking ordinance in Clayton, Missouri, on grounds that it violated his constitutional rights.