Hawaii’s governor on Friday signed a bill raising the legal smoking age statewide to 21, the first US state to do so. The law takes effect on Jan 1, 2016, and will also ban the sale, purchase or use of electronic cigarettes for those under the age of 21.
Most US states set the legal smoking age at 18, while a handful have set it higher at 19. Some cities and counties, including New York City and Hawaii County, have already raised the smoking age to 21.
Lawmakers in Washington state and California have also pushed to raise the legal smoking age to 21 in recent months.
In Hawaii, roughly nine out of 10 smokers start before the age of 21 and many report receiving cigarettes from friends or relatives of legal age, according to the governor’s office.
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