World News: Hawaii introduces bill to increase legal smoking age in 2020

Bella Cesario, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Smoking: the habit that every mother and father have warned their children about. Many have struggled to break this habit or to not be influenced by social pressures to smoke. Organizations have launched campaigns, such as truth and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to put an end to smoking overall. Now, Hawaii has come up with a possible solution by raising the legal smoking age to 100.
Hawaii has already taken steps to end smoking. In 2017, Hawaii raised the legal smoking age to 21, making it the only U.S. state with the legal age higher than 18 or 19.
According to the BBC, representative Richard Creagan, a democrat in Hawaii’s state legislature, proposed the bill that would dramatically raise the smoking age.
Creagan’s plan is to raise the smoking age over a period of years, starting in 2020 and ending in 2024.
The bill, HB 1509, needs to pass through Hawaii state legislature to go into effect.
According to the CDC, smoking causes about one in five deaths in the United States. The CDC also reports that about 34 million adults in America still smoke despite the decline in smokers.
The bill references the deadly nature of the cigarette, claiming it is, “considered the deadliest artifact in human history,” and “an unreasonably dangerous and defective product.”
The bill also discusses how one’s lifespan increases after quitting smoking, claiming “cigarette smokers who quit smoking cigarettes by the time they reach thirty or even forty years of age have a greatly increased chance at having a normal lifespan.”
Smoking among teens has become a major concern in recent years due to the growing popularity of vaping.
The American Lung Association reports that every day, 2,500 teens under the age 0f 18 will try cigarettes. Ultimately, 200 will end up dying due to the deadly habit.

According to truth, the Surgeon General predicted, in 2014, that if current smoking trends continue at the current rate, over 5 million youth in America will die prematurely. Truth also reports that people who vape are four times more likely to smoke cigarettes.
Some claim that vaping is a better alternative to cigarettes however, a popular vape option, the JUUL, disproves this. Truth reports that one JUUL pod has the same nicotine level as 20 cigarettes.

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