Two representatives from two different political groups have just made a never-seen-before proposal to the American parliament. They wish Hawaii to be the first American state to ban the sale of tobacco. The strategy would be to gradually increase the legal age for smoking. If this proposal goes through, there would be major consequences for the archipelago.
Hawaii has always been at the forefront of the war against tobacco. They were the first to establish a ban on cigarettes purchases by minors. But by extending the ban to the entire population, the state will be subject to a sharp increase in black market cigarettes. This total ban on smoking products, whatever the age of the consumer, would only go into effect in 2024.
A useless measure without a pro-vaping policy to help smokers transition
This gives cigarette contraband professionals more than enough time to establish a black market network. Furthermore, the isolated archipelago, hidden in the Pacific Ocean, is made up of 137 islands. This geographic situation makes it the perfect place to establish a black market tobacco hub.
This decision to eradicate smoking is, at first glance, a great project to improve public health in Hawaii. The risks associated with smoking are common knowledge by now. But the state has no concern for helping smokers quit, in fact, quite the contrary. Hawaii’s anti-vaping policy is strict, where it is forbidden to vape in public places.
Interestingly, other countries have had the same idea in the past. In 2017, Russia began discussions on a potential ban on smoking for anyone born after 2015, even once they turn 18. This measure was intended to eradicate smoking in future Russian generations. But as it stands, the measure was never adopted, and little has been said on the subject since.