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Big Island raises tobacco sale age to 21

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 8:14 a.m. HST, Dec 20, 2013

KAILUA-KONA » The Big Island is now the only county in the state to restrict tobacco sales to those who are 21 years or older.

Mayor Billy Kenoi signed the bill Thursday, which sets the minimum age a customer must be to purchase tobacco products. The law goes into effect July 1.

West Hawaii Today reports the measure doesn't make it illegal for young people to smoke but penalizes retail stores for selling tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars and electronic cigarettes. Selling to underage customers can result in a $500 fine for the first offense and up to $2,000 for subsequent offenses.

The Hawaii County Council unanimously voted to pass the bill in November.

Kenoi says the legislation shows a commitment to health and the quality of life for children.

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