On January 1, 2016, Hawai‘i becomes the first state in the nation to raise the legal age to purchase or consume tobacco products to 21. This is a crowning achievement for the Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i, and our many wonderful partners.
As the brain is developing, it is much more susceptible to addiction. With 95% of all tobacco users beginning while under 21 years of age, this new law could have real impact on our youth smoking rates. It also could impact youth use of electronic smoking devices (ESDs; also called e-cigarettes), which are included under the Age 21 requirement as well as a second law going into effect January 1, 2016.