Starting today, you must be at least 21-years-old to purchase tobacco products in Hawai’i County, unless you happen to be at least 18 years old today.
Last November, the Hawai’i County Council voted 9-0 to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21, though Bill 135 includes a grandfather period for those older than 18 when the bill takes effect.
Much like the legislation passed in New York City, the bill targets retailers who sell tobacco products to those under 21, with fines starting at $500 for the first offense and reaching $2,000 for subsequent offenses. The legislation was authored by Councilman Dru Mamo Kanuha.
The bill covers any tobacco product intended for human consumption, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff and electronic smoking devices.
Hawai’i County, which encompasses the entire island known as “The Big Island,” is home to just under 190,000 residents.