• June 19, 2024

Hawaii Lawmakers Propose ‘Endgame’ Bill

 Hawaii Lawmakers Propose ‘Endgame’ Bill

Image: Mercedes Fittipaldi | Adobe Stock

Image: Mercedes Fittipaldi | Adobe Stock

A new bill introduced in the Hawaii Senate would make it illegal for anyone born after 2002 to possess, purchase or use tobacco or vaping products. 

S.B. 148 would change the state’s tobacco rules to deny anyone born after Jan. 1, 2003, from purchasing and consuming these products.

Those caught selling or providing tobacco or vaping products to consumers covered by the law would be subject to a $500 fine for a first offense and a fine of between $500 and $2,000 for any offense after that.

In addition, anyone born after 2002 caught violating the law as a consumer would be subject to a $10 fine for the first offense, a $50 fine for a subsequent offense, or the option to do between 48 hours and 72 hours of community service.

If passed, the change would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. S.B. 148 currently has six sponsors.

The concept of a generational sales ban was introduced in New Zealand in 2021 and was approved by that country’s government late last year. It has also been proposed in Malaysia, California and Nevada.

In 2015, Hawaii became the first U.S. state to increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 years old, which has since become the federal standard.

In 2019, Hawaiian lawmakers proposed a bill that would slowly increase the age to purchase tobacco products, starting with raising the minimum age for buying cigarettes from 21 to 30 in 2020.

By 2022, no one under 50 would have been able to buy cigarettes.