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Hawaii Banning Cigarette Sales?

Hawaii is flirting with the idea of becoming the first state to ban the sale of cigarettes.Lawmakers are proposing that cigarette sales would effectively end by 2024.The ban would go into effect progressively, starting next year, by raising the minimum age for buying cigarettes from 21 to 30.Two years later, no one under 100 would be allowed to buy cigarettes.

What do you think of how Hawaii is proposing to ban the sale of cigarettes? 

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  • Shea

    Really….. Weird…. To raise the age from 21 to 30 first. But I think cigarettes should be illegal anyways– any other product tgat is known to cause cancer is typically made illegal to use so…. The big thing is nicotine is an addictive substance and i hope they have a lot of councilling and things that will help people with that aspect.

  • Breatheeasy

    Whoever invented them in the first place really. And people do them even though they are bad. I don’t understand why people want to harm themselves knowingly. And it just goes on. Maybe a ban is good place to start eliminating them. 

  • Pljohns

    Unfortunately the ban only affects cigarettes and not all tobacco products.  It is definitely a start-My DH used to smoke-he has PTSD and said they kept the bad dreams away.  he started when he was in the military and in a very high stress job.  Thankfully he hasn't smoked in 5 years

  • Deborah Bartlett

    I seriously wonder how those cigarette smokers will buy their cigs. Lynn, I am glad for your DH, yourself, and the rest of the family , that DH quit. It is especially important due to your health! 

  • Shea

    Nicotine is as addictive as heroine– a lot of people do not know that. Any human who gets started on either drug, for whatever reason, can have a very hard time stopping. I started smoking cigarettes in college– I was dating a smoker and started very slowly and very casually. I also worked at restaurants, and smokers got smoke breaks and chatted together, or it was the perfect thing to do between classes. When you are a smoker– cigarette smoke doesnt stink I swear, the smell is like bacon, makes you want it. I had tried quitting and converting to e cigarettes even but was unsuccessful in my first attempts. It wasnt until the day I found out I was pregnant that I quit cold turkey. I never had asthma or breathing problems until 6 months into my pregnancy when my allergy to the pets got so much worse. Sometimes I think that when you quit your lung capacity increases and when your pregnany you breathe nore abd deeper and that I started to actually breathe in a lot more allergens– still was good that I quit smoking, but that sudden increase of allergens, and being chronically exposed– makes me think it was just another straw on the camel's back. But… I can say I understand the world from both perspectives and tgat before part of my smoking was due to chronic stress, depression, and nicotibe addiction itself. Of course, never underestimate willpower, I am really happy I quit and do not have any cravings anymore or anything, feel much better. But I think that if I hadnt had my pregnancy as motivation, I might have needed to get into sone support program to help boot it. 

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, thanks for sharing the perspective of a former smoker! My mom tried very hard to quit smoking several times, and she always told us to never start. 

    My dad, amazingly, could lay a pack down and quit almost instantly, but my mom struggled.

    I'm so glad you were able to quit! For those who do need support for quitting smoking, the website  can help. 

    I am continually amazed at the number of young people who smoke. Even when I was young, smoking wasn't connected to so many bad outcomes. But now there are definite links to the consequences smoking can have, and yet teens and people in their early 20s still smoke or vape … what I want to know is how we can teach young people not to light up for that first time?

  • Deborah Bartlett

    I wonder if the young people met and listened to some older people who have chronic and fatal health problems due to smoking….if that would scare them into quitting or nor starting the smoking. When I was young, so many people smoked. They smoked in stores and restaurants. As a teen, I visited one of my grandmothers in the hospital, hooked up to oxygen…sitting up in bed smoking!!!! People were allowed to smoke in hospitals back then. Some people that I speak with and help who have COPD have oxygen saturation numbers in the low 20s. The young people should see the pictures of COPD patients on oxygen. In other words….DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! Quit now…or don't start smoking anything. Think and live healthy!! 🚭🚭🚭

  • Breatheeasy

    Tv Ads don’t seem to help with that Deborah. They show the struggles on TV but people go on smoking like they saw nothing. I grew up in a smoking home too. I lived with my mom and grandparents for a good few years when my dad relocated for work. We had an attached home with my grandfathers brothers’ homes. All of them smoked in the basement. My dad also smoked. But he quit early. Then when I started uni my roommates smoked. I was constantly exposed to second hand smoke. Then there were neighbors who were heavy smokers and then friends and my ex husband. Its just awful. 

  • Deborah Bartlett

    I know it must have been awful Breatheeasy. My Dad smoked 4 packs of Winston for years and years. Plus, he was an alcoholic. He died at the age of 52. My Mom smoked until she was pregnant with my younger brother. Then she quit for good. She smoked True. I cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke. It has a nasty, awful smell.

  • Shea

    I cant stand the smell now either. And, when I used to smoke, I would get mad at people who told me to quit or that it stunk or was disgusting, sometimes I would hear a anti-smoking commercial and think, "oh yeah I am due for a cigarette"…. BeCause you get used to hearing it … and it is just a quick eye roll if anything at all, because addiction is deeper than that, and so you just learn to tune it out, or get mad at it, or defend yourself… I honestly felt I couldnt get through the day without smoking, it causes pleasure centers to light up, it causes relaxation, it got me breaks while working high stress jobs, it was one of the few good things I had in my day– which is kinda sad but totally true. Most of my day I was miserable because I went to college and my teachers and classes were not fun to me, then straight to work driving an hour each way, and I was working in a high stress position and usually surrounded by smokers. Even when I was actively trying to quit I wrote in a journal "why smoking now is better than getting cancer later and wrote down all my silly stories that I told myself one by one just to try to rid myself from using them throughout the day. I worked at a treatment center for substance abuse (not for cigarette smoking but for alcoholism and other drugs) and mental health– the nurses and I would be having smoke breaks. It is not a rational thing. I had thrown whole packs out while trying to quit, just to buy a pack a few hours later. One thing is alcohol– when I quit drinking quitting smoking was so much easier… Alcohol affects judgment and self-control (surprise). Either way, a lot of times people are improperly self-medicating stress, depression, ptsd with it…. You cant buy real therapy or medications for those things at a 7-11. But smoking, although temporarily a seductive relief, really isnt a solution at all, and leads to more problems. We know this as a society, and because we know, we should not allow these companies to sell this product anywhere because it takes advantage of people with problems and offers a non-solution. We shouldnt let the addicted people make the decision of whether the product is legal– it is not a human right to be addicted nor is it a resposibility to enable addiction. Especially if we ever want universal healthcare…. We should be providing people with real solutions– that is what inspired me to work where I used to work– it was one of the few places where I believed in the solution and learned about bringing balance and joy into life in ways that worked.

    We have to be strong and say this product is bad for all humans in all doses and forms… But I also wish we could offer healthcare for all so that people could handle the issues they are self-medicating with a true solution that helps them rekax, take breaks, give moments of joy that light up the pleasure centers of your brain non-chemically but by real joyous things happening, having a space to talk with coworkers and stop working for a few minutes, having a healthy food that gives energy and stimulation (the things smokers like about cigarettes) –without all the problems that come from smoking cigarettes, without ruining the body and health and harming others.

    It takes motivation to quit, and make positive changes in one's life, and I think we can support that change by following Hawaii's lead and not selling that garbage and by making healthcare accessible to all.

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, I hear you … I'm astonished at how many health providers smoke. A few minutes after a Respiratory Therapist saved my mom's life when she went into respiratory distress, I spotted him out smoking in the ambulance bay.

    If seeing a woman in that dire a situation doesn't cause you to re-think your smoking habit, I'm not sure what will. 

    But I do think smoking bans in public places have helped. Do you think it has helped make it less socially acceptable? Smoking doesn't seem to be as socially acceptable as it was when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. I still remember our school having a designated smoking "ring" of benches for students!

    Shea, maybe what we need to do as a society is to address the need that smoking pretends to fill — maybe we need to help teach relaxation techniques and self-soothing techniques to young people. 

  • Shea

    Cynthia, I think that would be great– just as you worded it "to help teach relaxation techniques and self-soothing techniques to young people".

    It would be great to also to incorporate it into work programs, or into any persons day. — I really do still take these little breaks as a stay at home mom– between Tommy's virtual class lessons and between housework tasks.. And often that is when I will check in on here, it helps steady me and refocus my thoughts on reflecting how I am feeling or on being social.

    And high stress jobs like medical especially need a break to decompress and step out– smoking is very high in medical fields— ldealing with life and death situations, being around sick people all day… Or in in busy restaurants dealing with fast-paced work where you can be just running and running, if a manager sees you talk or sit still you get told to do stuff, sometimes a person needs a mental break.

    My old job we talked about excusing onesself to a nice space, or outside, to take 5 deep breaths… It is basically replacing a smoke break with just a relaxation break… And it doesnt seem like much but there were all these studies behind it and how much it can do just taking 5 deep breaths. And people could be encouraged to take these relaxation breaks–even forced to like lunch breaks– by themselves, or with a cup of tea, or in pairs sometimes too, because talking with a coworker can be relaxing and make you feel more connected and lower stress as well. 

     

  • Breatheeasy

    My work place offers guided meditation as a form of relaxation but not many seem to understand the benefits it can bring. They choose to smoke instead.

    Well they’ll always be skeptics who reject these alternatives.

    I guess it’s the lack of awareness. If TV ads probably encouraged smokers to try alternative ways to relieve stress than smoke it might work to some extent.

    But then there are people who quit and then go back to smoking again. I wonder if there’s alternatives that can help relieve stress as effectively that makes people think ‘this is better than smoking’. And if it were just as easy as smoking it would be better. All I can think of is meditating. Most of them don’t even want to try and help themselves kick the habit. They don’t realise they have a problem.

  • Pljohns

    For my DH, part of the appeal of smoking is that it kept him awake.  When you have a job that requires you to be at it for LONG stretches (he would be flying in a military intelligence plane for 18 hrs straight working), between the cigarettes and coffee that the entire crew drank by the gallon (they had a 40 cup coffee pot on the plane), they could stay awake and do their jobs.  Now, was it healthy-heck no-but it's what they had to do.  Medical personnel are the same way-residents/interns and doctors are up for long periods of time and the nicotine helps them stay awake.

  • Shea

    I think they could do a matcha green tea break as a replacement– it basically a powder that you mix quickly into hot water and drink quickly– the whole peocess about as long as a smoke break– and it gives you energy and is a stimulant (but no negatives with that stimulation). 

    Theyll still crave nicotine for a while, but itd help.

  • K8sMom2002

    Lynn, good point about people feeling the need for a stimulant to help with long hours requiring focus. And Shea, good reminder about high-stress jobs requiring breaks … what a good reminder that people seem to be more forgiving about smoke breaks than "relaxation" breaks. Maybe it's that people can think, "Oh, people are helpless in the throes of addiction to cigarettes," but at the same time think people aren't tough if they need a moment for five deep breaths.

    So it sounds like America is treating a symptom rather than the underlying problem. We need a culture change … where people recognize that high-stress jobs requiring intense focus require extra people who can switch out. And we need to recognize that standing around empty-handed for a moment to catch one's breath is not a sign of laziness or weakness.

  • Shea

    Cynthia I think that is spot on!

    Meditation is really great– I used to do it alot after I gave birth to Tommy and I looovvved it but I fell out of it… And for ne, its like going to tbe gym.. You gotta get in a routine with it and it gets better over time and I used to do it when I was breastfeeding but then it eas like I had no time for it anymore   . And now it is hard for me again, just to be still… but I think I am going to try to add it back in.

    I dont know if Id a tried it, or anything, back then when I smoked during any period other than when I was actively trying to quit, BUT I do know that I did a lot of healthy behaviors like work out and yoga and sports… and did on general want to be healthy– I just also wanted to smoke…. Even though that doesnt make sense– its bc its a strong physical and mental addiction neatly wrapped into ones persona, identity, and daily routine. I mean think about it, you had to answer "smoking or non" for a while not long ago any time to eat or be in a section. It also was a relief to just not care for a while about stuff, an attitude smokers kinda pick up in order to justify being able to smoke around all the information that is out there telling you not to nc of this or that. I readily accepted that attitude and liked being around others who shared it, it was destressing in itself to let go of care and control and worry. So, as stupid of a thing as smoking is, it has many seductions. I still will find I need breaks from the "health" movement at times, and just have a desire to break-free from logic and having to be smart about everything and health health health, and are you doing this or try that or dont do that… it just can get to a person…. I will usually buy something frivolous now when I have that urge to break free– or craft something silly. Like I have a serious stuffed animal addiction lol. But I was broke yesterday but I NEEDED a stuffed animal manatee… (I was researching them with Tommy for his class and fell in love with them) So.. I made one out of a sock. I swear it was stress relieving. I obviously have a lot more time than I used to lol. 

  • Breatheeasy

    Shea you could try guided meditation. There are videos on YouTube I guess. It’s easier than actual meditation. And it works!

  • K8sMom2002

    Shea, love the sock manatee! That's amazing! And I also love how you explained the identity portion of being a smoker. That makes a lot of sense. 

    Breatheeasy, what a wonderful reminder about guided meditation. There are many different relaxation approaches for people, aren't there?