Bill allows police to take cigarettes from kids

HONOLULU (AP) - State lawmakers are looking at ways to make it harder for minors to smoke cigarettes in Hawaii.

A bill before a House committee today would allow police officers to confiscate tobacco products used by those under age 18.

An earlier version of the bill would have penalized minors caught smoking. However senators reviewing the measure thought it would be better to focus enforcement efforts on the tobacco industry for making tobacco products appealing to children.

The bill now makes it illegal for a minor to use tobacco in any form, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco and snuff.

The bill does not punish youth for possession of tobacco, other than allowing it to be taken away.

Minors caught purchasing tobacco products can be fined $10 to $50.

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