Hawaii lawmakers kill some smoking bills, advance others

Published On: Mar 07 2014 11:54:13 AM HST

Hawaii lawmakers have killed bills that would raise the legal age of purchasing tobacco to 21 and that would have clamped down on smoking at beaches statewide.  But they're advancing bills that aim to restrict smoking and make it more expensive.

One such measure would confine smoking in public housing to designated areas, under penalty of possible eviction.  A bill the Senate has sent to the House would regulate and tax electronic smoking devices much the same as tobacco.  It would also restrict use of those devices in workplaces and in public.

One surviving bill that counters the anti-smoking trend would cap the tax on large cigars at 50 cents.  That tax now is 50 percent of the cigar's wholesale price.

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