Hawaii considers raising legal smoking age — to 100

Professional golfer Hideto Tanihara of Japan smokes a cigarette during a tournament in Hawaii on January 10, 2014 . (Getty Images/AFP)
Updated 05 February 2019
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Hawaii considers raising legal smoking age — to 100

  • The proposed law, introduced by local Democratic representative Richard Creagan, would effectively amount to a cigarette ban by 2024
  • Hawaii already has some of the toughest laws on cigarette sales

LOS ANGELES: Would-be cigarette smokers in the US state of Hawaii might have to wait a very long time for their first legal drag, after a lawmaker introduced a bill that would bar sales to anyone under the age of 100.
The proposed law, introduced by local Democratic representative Richard Creagan, would effectively amount to a cigarette ban by 2024.
Hawaii already has some of the toughest laws on cigarette sales but Creagan — an emergency room doctor — believes more needs to be done to ban “the deadliest artifact in human history,” according to his proposed bill.
“Basically, we essentially have a group who are heavily addicted — in my view, enslaved by a ridiculously bad industry — which has enslaved them by designing a cigarette that is highly addictive, knowing that it highly lethal. And, it is,” he told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
Under current law, you must be 21-years-old to purchase cigarettes in Hawaii. Nationwide, the minimum age is 18 or 19.
Creagan’s proposal calls for raising the cigarette-buying age to 30 by next year, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022 and 60 in 2023. By 2024, the minimum age would be 100.
He said the bill is structured to withstand any legal challenge.
“The state is obliged to protect the public’s health,” Creagan, who acknowledges smoking cigarettes during his medical studies, told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.
“We don’t allow people free access to opioids, for instance, or any prescription drugs,” he added.
“This is more lethal, more dangerous than any prescription drug, and it is more addicting.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for nearly half a million deaths every year.


El Salvador court frees woman jailed for delivering stillborn

Evelyn Hernandez (C) is surrounded by activists after being released from the women's Readaptation Center, in Ilopango, El Salvador, on February 9, 2019, where she was serving a 30-year-sentence for aggravated homicide after her baby died at birth. (AFP)
Updated 16 February 2019
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El Salvador court frees woman jailed for delivering stillborn

  • Even women who abort due to birth defects or health complications risk jail sentences of up to 40 years in El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR: A Salvadoran court on Friday freed Evelyn Hernandez, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison after she gave birth to a stillborn baby at home.
After serving 33 months for aggravated homicide, 20-year-old Hernandez smiled as she was reunited with her parents and a brother in the capital San Salvador.
The court in Cojutepeque, east of the capital, ruled that she will be retried but while living at home. A hearing has been set for April 4, with a new judge, her lawyer Angelica Rivas said.
El Salvador has an extremely strict abortion ban. Hernandez gave birth in the makeshift bathroom of her home in the central Cuscatlan region. She was 18 years old and eight months pregnant.
She said her son was stillborn but was convicted of murdering him, abortion rights group ACDATEE said.
ACDATEE cited a pathologist’s report which it said indicated the baby had choked to death while still in the womb.
Prosecutors argued Hernandez was culpable for not having sought prenatal care, ACDATEE said.
The group said Hernandez had not known she was pregnant and gave birth on the toilet after feeling abdominal pains. She got pregnant as the result of a rape, which she did not report out of fear because her family had been threatened.
Even women who abort due to birth defects or health complications risk jail sentences of up to 40 years in El Salvador. Campaigners say some have been jailed after suffering miscarriages.
The country’s abortion law made international headlines in 2013 when a sick woman was forbidden from aborting a fetus which developed without a brain.
Under a ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Salvadoran state eventually authorized her to undergo a cesarean section. The baby died shortly after the procedure.