Hawaii to gradually ban cigarette sales?

Mar 2012
60,011
41,462
New Hampshire
Good idea or bad? What will replace those taxes?

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports Democratic state Rep. Richard Creagan has proposed legislation that aims to make the state the first to prohibit the sale of cigarettes.

Under his bill, the minimum smoking age would increase to 30 in 2020, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022, 60 in 2023, and 100 in 2024. The measure wouldn't apply to e-cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco. Creagan, a physician, said taxes and other regulations have slowed cigarette use but haven't stopped it, and he wants to get them off store shelves.

He told the newspaper he doesn't think his legislation over-reaches. The state is obligated to "protect the public's health," he said.

"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," the Tribune-Herald quotes Creagan as saying.

Bill would eventually make Hawaii first state to ban cigarette sales
 

Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
78,448
70,612
So. Md.
You made me curious about how they collect in tobacco taxes and I'm surprised at the amount. But it did drop from one year to the next.

During FY 2016, collections of the cigarette and tobacco tax (including tobacco licenses) totaled $125.1 million, compared to $129.9 million in FY 2015, or a decrease of 3.7%. Chart 1.11 shows the total collections of the tax for FY 2007 through FY 2016.
http://files.hawaii.gov/tax/stats/stats/annual/16annrpt.pdf

I suspect it would diminish over time anyway. But I'm not sure doing it the way Creagan wants to do it is the way to do it.
 
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Mar 2012
60,011
41,462
New Hampshire
You made me curious about how they collect in tobacco taxes and I'm surprised at the amount. But it did drop from one year to the next.



http://files.hawaii.gov/tax/stats/stats/annual/16annrpt.pdf

I suspect it would diminish over time anyway. But I'm not sure doing it the way Creagan wants to do it is the way to do it.
Yea I really dont like the "public good/health" thing. Not when obesity is rampant here in the US. Europeans all have UHC and yet still manage to smoke like mad and keep healthcare costs low. So it might seem we are focusing on wrong things. We are getting diseases and illnesses far more due to being fat than smoking.
 
Sep 2017
5,469
6,537
Massachusetts
Good idea or bad? What will replace those taxes?

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports Democratic state Rep. Richard Creagan has proposed legislation that aims to make the state the first to prohibit the sale of cigarettes.

Under his bill, the minimum smoking age would increase to 30 in 2020, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022, 60 in 2023, and 100 in 2024. The measure wouldn't apply to e-cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco. Creagan, a physician, said taxes and other regulations have slowed cigarette use but haven't stopped it, and he wants to get them off store shelves.

He told the newspaper he doesn't think his legislation over-reaches. The state is obligated to "protect the public's health," he said.

"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," the Tribune-Herald quotes Creagan as saying.

Bill would eventually make Hawaii first state to ban cigarette sales
If it could work anywhere in the US, I suppose it would be Hawaii, since it's relatively hard to move black-market cigarettes into Hawaii from other places in bulk. It's not like you can just load up a tractor trailer in the next state over with cigarettes and spend a few dollars driving it over the border with little fear of being caught. But still, it seems like a bad idea. Once you outlaw it, you push it into the criminal underground and bad crap happens. Instead, the target should be to tax it at the highest levels you can go without pushing a substantial amount of the trade underground. A handful of loose cigarettes being sold illegally is no big deal, but if you start getting 10% of cigarettes passing through the black market, the tax is too high.
 
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Devil505

Former Staff
Jan 2008
73,367
31,488
Florida
If it could work anywhere in the US, I suppose it would be Hawaii, since it's relatively hard to move black-market cigarettes into Hawaii from other places in bulk. It's not like you can just load up a tractor trailer in the next state over with cigarettes and spend a few dollars driving it over the border with little fear of being caught. But still, it seems like a bad idea. Once you outlaw it, you push it into the criminal underground and bad crap happens. Instead, the target should be to tax it at the highest levels you can go without pushing a substantial amount of the trade underground. A handful of loose cigarettes being sold illegally is no big deal, but if you start getting 10% of cigarettes passing through the black market, the tax is too high.
Banning anything people want will never work.
Just makes money for organized crime.

What's next...Twinkies?
 
Mar 2012
60,011
41,462
New Hampshire
If it could work anywhere in the US, I suppose it would be Hawaii, since it's relatively hard to move black-market cigarettes into Hawaii from other places in bulk. It's not like you can just load up a tractor trailer in the next state over with cigarettes and spend a few dollars driving it over the border with little fear of being caught. But still, it seems like a bad idea. Once you outlaw it, you push it into the criminal underground and bad crap happens. Instead, the target should be to tax it at the highest levels you can go without pushing a substantial amount of the trade underground. A handful of loose cigarettes being sold illegally is no big deal, but if you start getting 10% of cigarettes passing through the black market, the tax is too high.
Agree. Thats what happened in NYC when that man was killed because he was selling loose cigarettes. It also targets low income and the poor who have trouble quitting, and would have law enforcement breathing down their neck if they go underground to buy them. Plus they need to still raise revenue. 125 million a year is a lot in state taxes and would have to be made up elsewhere.
 

StanStill

Former Staff
Dec 2013
13,899
16,016
Work
Good idea or bad? What will replace those taxes?

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports Democratic state Rep. Richard Creagan has proposed legislation that aims to make the state the first to prohibit the sale of cigarettes.

Under his bill, the minimum smoking age would increase to 30 in 2020, 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022, 60 in 2023, and 100 in 2024. The measure wouldn't apply to e-cigarettes, cigars or chewing tobacco. Creagan, a physician, said taxes and other regulations have slowed cigarette use but haven't stopped it, and he wants to get them off store shelves.

He told the newspaper he doesn't think his legislation over-reaches. The state is obligated to "protect the public's health," he said.

"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," the Tribune-Herald quotes Creagan as saying.

Bill would eventually make Hawaii first state to ban cigarette sales
Well, I think the phased in age limit idea is silly. If he's committed to public health, then either ban the sale of them or don't. I don't see how something that is legal can be made illegal to purchase by a 45 year old. Do they really expect the guy at the mini-mart to ask for ID from someone old enough to be his father, and then turn him away because he's too young? It will never happen, and it sort of negates the idea of being an adult. Talk about paternalistic!

Stores don't really make any money selling cigarettes anyway. It's just an enticement for you to come into the store, and one that is losing a lot of it's draw as less and less people smoke now. They should just raise the fee for being licensed to sell cigarettes, to encourage stores to stop selling. Yeah, there might be some black market sales that happen, but it's cigarettes... I don't see that as that big of a deal. The overall effect will be that more people are encouraged to quit.
 

Djinn

Council Hall
Dec 2007
52,712
40,058
Pennsylvania, USA
Banning anything people want will never work.
Just makes money for organized crime.

What's next...Twinkies?
It would be harder to make a case for banning unhealthy foods. Consider - if you told your doctor that you regularly ate two Twinkies every month, it's unlikely your doctor would have any medical concern. After all, there's no reason to believe that enjoying such snacks in controlled moderation presents any medical risk. And if people WERE experiencing medical problems as a result of infrequent consumption, it's a sure bet they'd be removed from store shelves.

Cigarettes? Not so much. There's no "safe" consumption rate defined for cigarettes, and no doctor will tell you that smoking one cigarette per month is harmless.
 

StanStill

Former Staff
Dec 2013
13,899
16,016
Work
It would be harder to make a case for banning unhealthy foods. Consider - if you told your doctor that you regularly ate two Twinkies every month, it's unlikely your doctor would have any medical concern. After all, there's no reason to believe that enjoying such snacks in controlled moderation presents any medical risk. And if people WERE experiencing medical problems as a result of infrequent consumption, it's a sure bet they'd be removed from store shelves.

Cigarettes? Not so much. There's no "safe" consumption rate defined for cigarettes, and no doctor will tell you that smoking one cigarette per month is harmless.
One cigarette a month? I don't think there is any study that shows an increased risk of anything with such low consumption. People in any large city probably inhale more unhealthy fumes walking downtown for 10 minutes. If I told my doctor I have one cigarette a month, he would write down that I'm a non-smoker.
 

Devil505

Former Staff
Jan 2008
73,367
31,488
Florida
It would be harder to make a case for banning unhealthy foods. Consider - if you told your doctor that you regularly ate two Twinkies every month, it's unlikely your doctor would have any medical concern. After all, there's no reason to believe that enjoying such snacks in controlled moderation presents any medical risk. And if people WERE experiencing medical problems as a result of infrequent consumption, it's a sure bet they'd be removed from store shelves.

Cigarettes? Not so much. There's no "safe" consumption rate defined for cigarettes, and no doctor will tell you that smoking one cigarette per month is harmless.
You can't legislate morality.
I was a foot soldier in the "war" on drugs and I can tell you that prohibition doesn't work.
We found that out with booze but learned nothing.
Legalization, taxation and education are our only hope.

I'll guarantee that you could walk less the 2 blocks from your house and buy any drug you want...at a highly inflated illegal price.
Pretty damn stupid to keep giving all that money to organized crime and no wall will ever stop it or illegal immigration.
 
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