Success: Legal Smoking Age Raised from 18 to 21


Target: Mr. David Ige, Governor of the State of Hawaii

Goal: Praise change in legal smoking age from 18 to 21.

Eighteen year olds looking to buy traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes in Hawaii will find themselves out of luck starting in 2016 thanks to a new bill signed into law by Governor David Ige. The law changes the state’s legal smoking age from 18 to 21 and is seeking to cut down on the number of people who take up smoking in their teenage years. This change is a big step towards making tobacco a thing of the past and a similar action was called for in a recent petition submitted by the activists on ForceChange.

Smoking has been on the decline in the United States since it became impossible to ignore the dangers it poses, yet is has proven a difficult problem to stamp out entirely. The new age change in Hawaii will do a great deal to cut down on the rate of people who take up smoking, as 86 percent of smokers polled in the state said they started smoking before age 21. Extending the law to e-cigarettes as well will undoubtedly save lives as they have not been thoroughly tested and some experts say they pose just as much of a health threat as traditional cigarettes.

As with any issue, there are those opposed to this age change. Some lawmakers in Hawaii are arguing that it is a violation of personal freedom and bemoaning the fact that soldiers under 21 would be allowed to die for their country, but not smoke. The only answer to that protestation can be, why then, do you allow the drinking age to be 21? Clearly there are some things that the teenage psyche is just not attuned to; long-term risk assessment for example. Please sign here to thank Governor Ige for this wonderful law change that will no doubt save countless lives.


Dear Governor Ige,

I am writing to you with the most profound gratitude for a measure that you recently put in place to combat smoking. The dangers of smoking are well-documented at this point in history and it is well known that it will kill just about anyone who takes it up, yet it has proven an exceedingly difficult problem to stamp out altogether. Hopefully, your new law change will see to that.

In a poll of smokers in your state, it seems that 86 percent started smoking before the age of 21. This ban will ensure that those wishing to smoke have a few extra years of cognitive development before they’re allowed to make such a life-altering decision and for that, I want to thank you.

Some of your colleagues are bemoaning the fact that now soldiers under 21 will be allowed to die for their country, but not to smoke. My only answer to that challenge is that those same soldiers are not allowed to drink alcohol either because there are just some things that teenagers cannot comprehend. Thank you again and please continue to do everything you can to protect the people of your great state.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Oxfordian Kissuth

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  1. Stan Benton says:

    Why not just make smoking illegal at all ages? Then we could have yet another “Prohibition”. That worked so well for alcohol. Now it’s working so well as “War on Drugs”. (The U.S. is the primary target for illegal drugs from all over the world.) Maybe we can have huge crime syndicates getting rich selling cigarettes (maybe even cigars) to all under 21? Granted I have no solutions, but a little better education about how stupid smoking is from parents and schools couldn’t hurt.

    • Judy Moran Judy Moran says:

      I couldn’t have said it better myself, Stan B. Government prohibition of any kind will not work and goes to show their (gov’t) ignorance. IF, anyone wants something bad enough, they WILL get it… prohibition/laws or not!

    • amen.

  2. Amy M Glogowski says:

    Such a shame!

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