A Hawaiian lawmaker is looking to take a tough stance against cigarettes by proposing a bill that would make the state the first to basically ban their sell on the island. According to the Hawaii Tribune-Harald, state Rep. Richard Creagan has created legislation that would incrementally increase Hawaii’s legal smoking age to 30 years old in 2020, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2021, and 60 in 2023 before making the jump to 100 in 2024.
This would effectively force the products off store shelves, which Cregan feels would be beneficial for all Hawaiians.
“The state is obliged to protect the public’s health,” he said. “We don’t allow people free access to opioids, for instance, or any prescription drugs.”
Creagan went on to add, “This is more lethal, more dangerous than any prescription drug, and it is more addicting. In my view, you are taking people who are enslaved from a horrific addiction and freeing people from horrific enslavement. We, as legislators, have a duty to do things to save people’s lives. If we don’t ban cigarettes, we are killing people.”
Creagan’s position is rooted in both science and experience. While explaining the motives behind the bill, Creagan disclosed that before his life as a politician he was an accomplished physician and during his medical residency he smoked cigarettes to help him stay awake. Because of this, he wants to take Hawaii’s already tough tobacco restrictions to the next level.
Also, it should be noted that Creagan’s proposed bill is limited to cigarettes and wouldn’t affect other nicotine products such as chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes, or cigars.