Hawaii poised to become first state to raise smoking age to 21

April 24, 2015 byCathy Bussewitz

Lawmakers have passed a bill that would make Hawaii the first state to raise the legal smoking age to 21.

The measure cleared its final legislative hurdle Friday with approval from the state Senate. It now goes to Gov. David Ige (EE'-gay) for his decision.

A spokeswoman for Ige said he wasn't immediately available for comment.

The bill prevents adolescents from smoking, buying or possessing traditional and . Those caught breaking the rules would face fines or community service.

Supporters say 90 percent of daily smokers begin the habit before age 19.

Opponents say it's unfair that a veteran returning from could be prevented from smoking.

Hawaii County and New York City have similar bans.

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