Hawaii Governor Signs Tobacco Purchase Age Increase Bill

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Gov. David Ige said he wanted to take enough time to ensure that the tobacco purchase age increase bill passed by the state’s legislature in April was properly vetted by his staff and that they could ensure that no legal issues were likely to arise before he signed it and made it an official law. Yesterday, it was clear that enough time had passed and the law had the muster to avoid legal challenges, as the governor affixed his signature to the bill and officially raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21-years-old.

With Gov. Ige’s signature, the change moves forward and goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2016.

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Both tobacco retailers and consumers will be subject to penalties for violations: anyone under 21 caught buying tobacco or electronic cigarettes would be subject to a $10 fine for the first offense, with each subsequent offense carrying a $50 fine or community service. Retailers would have much heftier fines levied on them for selling to minors: $500 for the first offense and $500 to $2,000 for each violation thereafter.

The governor also signed HB525, which bans smoking, tobacco products and the use of electronic smoking devices in all state parks and beaches, a law that goes into effect on July 1, 2015.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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