I know it may not seem like a long time but I am currently 6-7 weeks (I can’t remember the exact date) free from smoking.
Granted that’s not a huge amount of time but for me it’s genuine progress. I really took the whole ‘new year, new me’ mantra on board this year – as cliched as it is – and so far I’m pleased to say it’s going well.
The thing is, these days, people have gotten wise to the whole smoking issue. It’s not even cool anymore, which is exactly the reason why I started it in the first place.
We all know it’s bad for us and the pub smoking ban that was implemented sort of marked the beginning of the end for it.
With that in mind, politicians in Hawaii are trying to accelerate the the banning of cigarettes by raising the legal smoking age to 100.
In a new bill, proposed by Democrat Richard Creagan, the smoking age would increase rapidly between 2020 and 2024. And with the average life expectancy standing at 82, it basically means nobody would be allowed to legally smoke.
Creagan is leading the campaign to ban cigarettes in the US state, calling cigs the “deadliest artefact in human history.”
Mr Creagan – who is also a doctor – told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald newspaper:
“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’s highly lethal. And, it is.
“The state is obliged to protect the public’s health. We don’t allow free access to opioids, for instance, or prescription drugs. This is more dangerous than any prescription drug, and it is more addicting.”
Under his proposals the changes to the law would be made incrementally over the next five years, with the legal age rising to 30 by next year, 40 years old in 2021, 50 in 2022 and 60 in 2023.
E-cigarettes and cigars are left out of the bill because Dr Creagan believes they are significantly safer for smokers than regular cigarettes – although the National Cancer Institute warns that “all tobacco products are harmful and cause cancer”.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US say that cigarette smoking is the top cause of preventable disease and death in the country.
And according to the latest test census data in Hawaii, the state’s population is 1.428 million, with around 17,000 people over the age of 85.
Imagine those few people that do actually make it to the age of 100 and are able to smoke their heads off to infuriate everyone else.
If you make it to a century old I don’t think anyone can begrudge you a cigarette can they?
Anyway, as a non-smoker (of sorts) I think this is good news, but I could never see it happening in this country. There’d be widespread riots.
Wishful thinking I guess.
Images via Getty