In an effort to ban cigarettes without actually banning cigarettes, state lawmakers in Hawaii have introduced a bill to raise the legal age to buy cigarettes to 100.
A bill recently introduced in that state’s house of representatives proposes the current smoking age in Hawaii, which is three years higher than the average age of 18, to go up to 30 on 2020, then up to 40 in 2021, 50 in 2022, then 60 in 2023 and finally the legal smoking age in Hawaii will be 100 in 2024.
Does the math for that seem, I don’t know, totally stupid? I can see a teacher telling her class, “Okay, students, if a number sequence increases by 10 every year and then increases by 40 on the fourth year, what method does that follow? Yes, Billy?”
“Hawaiian politicians drunk on pina coladas?”
“Correct! I would have also accepted food poisoning from spam sushi or poi.”
The reason some want to raise the age limit is because they figured out that cigarettes are bad for you, something that cigarette smokers have obviously been ignorant of despite billions of dollars on advertising saying smoking is bad and will kill you, warning labels on everything that has to do with a cigarette, vice taxes on cigarettes jacking up the price to roughly $32 a pack and smokers getting pushed out of hospitals, restaurants, parks, airplanes (not literally, I hope), most bars and pubs, buildings, their own homes, any structure with four walls, any structure with two walls or five feet of an active volcano.
The madness behind their method is if only centenarians can legally buy cigarettes, there won’t be enough people buying cigarettes so stores will stop carrying them and, therefore, people will stop smoking.
Of course, that’s moronic as people will always find a way to indulge in their fun pastimes, a.k.a. “habits,” if you’re a party pooper. But, if this becomes a law, it might help the elderly bring in much needed supplemental income.
Underage kids wanting to buy cigarettes or booze always had that older brother or sister, cousin, friend or the wandering panhandler that yells at yield signs to buy them tobacco and alcohol while getting a little extra money for their efforts.
Now think about a Hawaiian senior citizen — let’s name him Ray for the joke I’m about to set up — and Ray’s congratulated on national TV for reaching the age of 100 by having his photo posted on a Smucker’s label, but then Ray’s house is flooded with visitors giving him money to purchase cigarettes for them.
It’s like the speech James Earl Jones gave in “Field of Dreams.”
“Ray, people will come, Ray. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children with fake ID’s, longing for a nicotine fix. ‘Of course, I won’t mind going to the 7-Eleven,’ you’ll say. ‘It’s only $20 per pack.’ They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and menthols they lack. And they’ll walk to the required 20 feet from their office building where they’ll be lighting up, and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic tar. The smoke clouds will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces with industrial fans. People will smoke, Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been tobacco. America has rolled cigarettes like an army of steamrollers. It has been puffed like a chimney, coughed out with phlegm and puffed again. But growing tobacco has marked the time. This tobacco field, this habit: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was mellow and it could be again. Oh, people will smoke, Ray. People will most definitely smoke.”
Of course, convenience store cashiers may be a bit confused at first when people 100 years of age or over are buying cartons of different varieties of cigarettes every day, but their store is back to making money and the politicians will sleep better at night, believing they stopped the pandemic of tobacco in their state.
Well, not so fast because the bill only addresses cigarettes, exempting tobacco products like chewing tobacco, snuff, e-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, hooka pipes, candy cigarettes, sniffing snuff and edible tobacco leaves because why not?
It’s like banning bacon, but you can still eat ham, sausage, pork roast, pig roasts, pork chops, pork rinds and pig ears because why not?
I, myself and me, as a recreational cigar smoker, really have no say in the matter either way, and me, myself and I don’t want to get political, but a friendly voice to smokers waiting in line to vote, “If you vote them in, they will come...to take your smokes.”
According to Hofmann is written by staff reporter Mark Hofmann of Rostraver Township. His book, “Stupid Brain,” is available for purchase on Amazon.com.