HONOLULU, June 19 (UPI) -- Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Friday signed into law legislation raising the legal smoking age to 21.
The new law makes Hawaii the first state in the country to raise the minimum age from 18 to 21. The law prevents adolescents from buying, possessing or smoking traditional or electronic cigarettes.
"This is a significant achievement in public health," said U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii. "Hawaii is the first state in the nation to raise the minimum age for tobacco, including e-cigarettes. With the explosion of e-cigarette among teens, more and more of our children are developing an unhealthy addiction to nicotine. This law is an important step in helping to make our next generation tobacco free."
Also on Friday, Ige signed into law a bill that prohibits tobacco use at state parks.
People under 21 breaking the rules would be subject to a $10 fine for the first offense and $50 fines for repeat offenses. Anyone who sells tobacco products to people under 21 would be fined $500 for the first offense.
The new law takes effect beginning January 2016.