Saturday January 25, 2020

Washington’s Governor Raises Smoking Age to 21 to Curb Addiction

Other US states that introduced similar laws include California, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia and Oregon, in addition to the US Pacific territory of Guam and the District of Columbia

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Governor Jay Inslee of Washington has signed a bill into law raising the state’s smoking age to 21 years, making it the ninth in the country to introduce such legislation, officials said.

The new law, which was signed on Friday, raised the legal minimum age for tobacco purchases from 18 years old to 21. It was passed in the Washington Senate on Wednesday and will take effect on January 1, 2020.

“We know the risks associated with tobacco and nicotine … We know how much easier it is to prevent our children from becoming addicted in the first place than to treat the addiction later in life, or even worse, to treat the cancers and diseases caused by these products,” Inslee said.

Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay
Other than chronic diseases, lifestyle habits like smoking causes cancer too. Pixabay

The Governor signed the bill in the presence of Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, dozens of students, legislators and local health officials at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, the largest city in the state, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ferguson, a strong advocate of the bill, said the legislature was “saving thousands of people in Washington from a lifetime of addiction and smoking-related illness through this bill”.

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Hawaii was the first US state to raise the smoking age to 21 when its Governor signed a bill in 2015 to ban the sale, purchase or use of electronic cigarettes to those under the age of 21. Hawaii’s law went into effect on January 1, 2016.

Other US states that introduced similar laws include California, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia and Oregon, in addition to the US Pacific territory of Guam and the District of Columbia. (IANS)

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Seattle Airport To Introduce Facial-Recognition Technology For Travellers

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) will introduce facial-recognition technology

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Seattle Airport
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) will introduce facial-recognition technology for international travellers. Wikimedia Commons

The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) in the US state of Washington will introduce facial-recognition technology for international travellers by the year end, a Seattle-based newspaper has reported.

Travellers of the US Delta Air Lines, Sea-Tac’s second-largest carrier, will be able to board a plane by scanning their faces at the airport to speed up the boarding process, after their faces match with their visa or passport photos stored in the database of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), The Seattle Times said.

The newspaper said Delta, which will become the first air carrier to adopt the new technology, is planning to use facial-recognition cameras to confirm international travellers’ identities at its Sea-Tac gates in late December 2019, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

Airport technology
The Seattle Airport will be the first one in USA that will have a facial-recognition camera by the year end. Pixabay

Delta has installed facial-recognition cameras in six airports in the country, and insisted that the new technology was aimed to deliver better customer service “by eliminating the need to juggle luggage, passports and boarding passes.”

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The Seattle daily said a five-member commission will meet in mid-December to vote on principles concerning the use of facial recognition at Sea-Tac. (IANS)