Hawaii rang in the New Year by becoming the first state to raise the legal smoking age to 21 for traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes, The Associated Press reported.

The new law, which was implemented Jan. 1, raised the smoking age from 18 to 21 in an effort to curb teenage smoking. Public health officials believe this will make it more difficult for teens to get their hands on tobacco products and electronic smoking devices. "In Hawaii, about one in four students in high school try their first cigarette each year, and one in three who get hooked will die prematurely," said Lola Irvin, administrator for the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division, according to the AP.

Raising the smoking age may also prevent teens from getting addicted, USA Today reported. According to health officials, about 95 percent of adult smokers start smoking before the age of 21, and about half become regular, daily smokers before age 18. Not to mention an additional 25 percent become regular, daily smokers between ages 18 and 21, which suggests that those in the 18 to 21 age group are the most vulnerable to smoking habits; it’s a time when many smokers transition from experimental to regular use.

"Prevention is the best strategy, and youth are especially vulnerable to nicotine addiction," Irvin said in a statement. "By prohibiting their use in public places, the new laws encourage a no-smoking norm."

Although smoking rates have drastically decreased among Hawaii's youth and adults, health officials noticed a 344 percent increase in e-cigarette use in just four years among public high school students, as well as a 542 percent jump among middle school students during the same time period. With there being an abundance of conflicting and inconclusive study results regarding the safety of e-cigarettes, health officials found this alarming.

"While our comprehensive approach to addressing tobacco use in Hawaii has led to quantifiable decreases in deaths due to smoking, an increase in targeted marketing to our youth and young adults and new technology in the form of e-cigarettes requires our state to take additional measures to protect our young people," Virginia Pressler, director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, said in a statement.

While the Aloha state is the first in the nation to increase the smoking age, similar legislation has been passed in more than 100 cities and counties, including New York City and Needham, Mass. In 2015, the percentage of adults smoking in Needham was 50 percent lower than the rest of the state after the smoking age was raised to 21 in 2005.

The timing of this law coincides with the start of the New Year, an opportune time for many to take stock of their lives and to make and keep New Year’s resolutions, such as quitting smoking.