(HONOLULU)—Hawaii’s governor has signed a bill to make his state the first to raise the legal smoking age to 21.
The measure aims to prevent adolescents from smoking, buying or possessing both traditional and electronic cigarettes. Gov. David Ige signed it into law Friday.
Dozens of local governments have similar bans, including Hawaii County and New York City.
“Raising the minimum age as part of our comprehensive tobacco control efforts will help reduce tobacco use among our youth and increase the likelihood that our keiki will grow up tobacco-free,” said Ige, using the Hawaiian word for children.
In Hawaii, 86 percent of adult smokers began smoking before age 21, according to the governor’s office.