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Hawaii raising minimum age to reduce tobacco use among those under 21

Hawaii will mark a milestone next year when it becomes to the first state to raise the minimum age requirement for purchase of tobacco products from 18 to 21.


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Hawaii to become first state to raise age requirement for tobacco purchase to 21
Hawaii joining local governments like NYC that ban sale of tobacco to anyone under 21


Hawaii raising minimum age to reduce tobacco use among those under 21

The sale, purchase and use of tobacco and electronic cigarettes will be prohibited to anyone under 21 years of age when the law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016. 

"Raising the minimum age as part of our comprehensive tobacco control efforts will help reduce tobacco use among our youth and increase the likelihood that our keiki will grow up tobacco-free," Hawaii Gov. David Ige told The Associated Press in June. Keiki is the Hawaiian word for children.

While Hawaii would be the first state government to raise the minimum age requirement, many local governments including New York City have dispatched similar plans. 

Establishments are required to post signs stating that sale of tobacco products to minors is prohibited. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 51.8 percent of adult smokers in Hawaii tried to quit smoking in 2013. Hawaii’s Medicaid program covers Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) Patch and NRT Gum. Coverage of NRT Lozenge, NRT Nasal Spray, NRT Inhaler, Varenicline (Chantix), and Bupropion (Zyban) varies by health plan. 

All health plans are required to cover counseling but the type of counseling covered varies by health plan.

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