Hawaii is not an exception: legal age for buying cigarettes around the world
Hawaiian Governor David Ige signed into law a bill that will raise the smoking age from 19 to 21. The island has become the first state in the U.S. to do so. The law will take effect Jan. 1, 2016.
In the majority of the United States, the legal smoking age is 18. But there are some exceptions. Alaska, Alabama, Utah and New Jersey raised the legal age to buy cigarettes to 19. Some states like Colorado, Massachusetts, Utah and New Jersey are trying to follow Hawaii’s steps to pass bills to raise the minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21.
Hawaii may have the highest smoking legal age in the country but there are around 80 locations within 8 states that have also raised the minimum sale age for tobacco products to 21. New York City is among them.
Legal smoking age around the world
Most countries have set a legal smoking age of 18. That’s the case for the majority of Latin American countries. There is only one exception: Honduras, where the legal age is 21.
In Canada, the smoking legal age ranges between 18 (in places like Alberta or Quebec) and 19 (Ontario or British Columbia).
The minimum legal age to buy tobacco is 18 in most European countries. There are only three exceptions: Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. In these three countries you can buy cigarettes if you are 16 years old.
In Asia, the legal age to buy tobacco products ranges between 16 (Bangladesh) and 21 (Sri Lanka and Kuwait). In Japan, for example, the sale of cigarettes is permitted to people who are 20 or older. But most of the Asian countries have a minimum legal smoking age of 18.
Africa is another continent with a lot of diversity in terms of smoking age. In countries like Zambia you can legally have a cigarette at 16 but in Algeria you have to wait until you’re 19.