Bad news, teen smokers in Hawaii: you're now breaking the law.
As 2015 turned into 2016, a new law in Hawaii raising the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 came into effect. The state also introduced new regulations which treat e-cigarettes the same as regular cigarettes. Hawaii is the first state in the country to raise the smoking age so high. (Of course, alcohol is also supposed to be off-limits until 21, but those crafty kids figure out a way to get it all the same.)
Police won't start enforcing the law until April, HawaiiNewsNow reported.
The state's Department of Health explained the thinking behind the law in a press release:
In the U.S., 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before the age of 21. Nearly half become regular, daily smokers before age 18, and an additional 25 percent become regular, daily smokers between ages 18 and 21. The 18 to 21 year group is therefore a time when many smokers transition to regular use of cigarettes.
There were no reports of angry 19-year-olds picketing the governor's office at press time.