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Hawaii County councilman proposes higher age limit for tobacco

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 03:06 a.m. HST, Sep 12, 2013

KAILUA-KONA » The Hawaii County Council will consider a measure to raise the legal age for buying tobacco products from 18 to 21.

West Hawaii Today reports the bill sponsored by Kona Councilman Dru Kanuha could be considered at a meeting Oct. 15 at the West Hawaii Civic Center.

The bill is backed by the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii.

Director Jessica Yamauchi says 95 percent of smokers begin the habit before they turn 21.

She says twice as many people smoke at age 18 to 20 that at age 16 to 17.

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mgcguest wrote:
What a loser! Can't these council people stop imposing moral control over people. 18 is a legal age. This 18 year old can go to war and fight for your country, put their life on the line, but....these loser council people impose their personal beliefs and will not let an ADULT decide what is best for them. Council people know how we should all live our lives. Get real, and handle the issues that you were elected to do, which is take care of roads, facilities, and planning issues for the county. When will this madness stop!! I can see not smoking in doors and stuff, but not banning smoking outside. What next....I know, lets make cancer illegal, now that will be a big help council people.
on September 11,2013 | 11:15AM
ryan02 wrote:
Normally, I wouldn't care if an adult wanted to kill himself. But as long as smokers get their heart disease, lung cancer, throat cancer, emphysema, stroke, bronchitis, mouth cancer, larynx cancer, and many, many, many, others diseases caused by cancer covered by health insurance, the cost of their eventual suicide gets passed on to everyone else. And I realize there are other lifestyle choices that affect health too (particularly obesity), but smoking is unique in that (1) the link between smoking and cancer/heart disease is VERY strong, and (2) smoking (unlike eating in general) is a specific activity that is easy to regulate. As for 18-year olds being adults, as the years go by they seem to be more and more immature and incapable of making life decisions. I would support raising the smoking age AS WELL AS raising the driving age, the age to join the military, the age to get married, etc., to 21.
on September 11,2013 | 11:59AM
localguy wrote:
More proof our dysfunctional Nei bureaucrats are incapable of doing the job they were elected to do, take care of core government services. They are not up to the task, incompetent, only in it to take care of #1. They try to spin their willful failures by coming up with "Touchy, Feel" work so they can say they did something. Sad to say they are all legends in their own minds, typical Nei bureaucrats.
on September 11,2013 | 04:32PM
50skane wrote:
What is sad is that Hawaii HRS law 709-908: Tobacco; minors, was never amended when it went up for review a few years back. At that time a bill was introduced to amend that law to make "possession or use" of any tobacco products by anyone under the age of 18 illegal, but it was shot down for reasons I cannot remember. So anyone under 18 still cannot purchase but they can still use or possess tobacco products and the police cannot do a thing because it is not illegal. I see 12 year old kids smoking and according to the law it is not illegal!! What kind of legislators do we elect!!!!! They are brain dead when it comes to certain common sense things like this!!!
on September 11,2013 | 11:40AM
Dimbulb wrote:
I am not a smoker but, I disagree with Kona Councilman Dru Kanuha on making someone be 21 years old to smoke. People over 18 are of legal age. They can fight and die for our country. They can vote. Maybe the good Councilman should propose that anyone with the family name of Kanuha can not have a driver's license until they reach the age of 30. How would he feel about that? Everyone knows that smoking is no good for you but as long as it is legal, they should have a right to do it. It's their health.
on September 11,2013 | 11:59AM
fiveo wrote:
Instead of nothing stuff like this Councilman Kanuha should focus on stuff that are of real concern such as jobs, housing, education, schools, essential services for the people he serves on the Big Island, ah, I mean the Island of Hawaii. Smoking among the population is already way down from 30 years ago, when almost everyone smoked. Young people will always try things for themselves. They do not need government to get involved. Even back when smoking was popular, no one was under the assumption that smoking was healthy. Everyone knew that it was not good for your health but at that time most did not realize just how bad it was. And of course the tobacco companies made smoking even worse by adding all kinds of chemicals and additives which made it even worse. Seems like just another grandstanding move by a politician. Easy to just pass a law, The hard stuff is working on the real issues that confront the people who are trying hard to make ends meet and take care of their families and come up with real solutions that will benefit everyone.
on September 11,2013 | 12:00PM
noheawilli wrote:
And this bill would do nothing...ask a 12 year old how tough it is to get cigs and you see the 18 yo's to 20 yo's will have no trouble either.
on September 11,2013 | 12:36PM
bleedgreen wrote:
Changing the age limit won't change anything. Setting the proper role model by parents will. It all begins at home.
on September 11,2013 | 01:43PM
pgkemp wrote:
what a dumb idea..next.........
on September 11,2013 | 03:05PM
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