Hawaii 2023 Legislative Session Preview

The 2023 Hawaii State Legislative Session starts January 18th, and we anticipate that we will have a very busy session. We have many issues on our agenda and as of now we are still waiting to hear who will be named to key legislative committees, which could greatly impact the likelihood of legislation on these issues passing. Some of the issues we will be focused on include:

Tobacco Control Legislation:

  • Restricting flavors including menthol.
  • Establish an e-cigarette tax (to establish parity with traditional tobacco product taxes to make them less attractive to youths) while recommending some of the revenue go to prevention programs.
  • Require licensing for e-cigarette retailers to better enforce against illegal sales to underage purchasers (already required for those who sell traditional tobacco products).
  • Support efforts to rescind state pre-emption on tobacco sales issues. When state legislators passed last minute legislation in 2018 taking away Hawaii counties’ rights to regulate tobacco sales, legislators argued that Hawaii’s youth vaping epidemic was too important to be handled by counties on a piecemeal basis and that they would address the problem with statewide regulations. But that has not occurred, and the youth vaping problem has only increased. By repealing the state’s preemption legislation, the counties would again have the ability to pass local ordinances and home rule on this vital issue would be restored.

Sugary Drink Fee:

  • The Heart Association supports establishing a fee on canned and bottled sugary drinks in an effort to reduce consumption and to establish a dedicated source of revenue from the fee for programs that improve community health.

In addition to these issues, we defend against legislation, as has emerged in recent sessions, that would decrease or eliminate funding for community tobacco prevention and cessations programs.

We will be in touch during the upcoming months with opportunities for you to reach out to your state legislators in support of our lifesaving work.  Mahalo for your support and we hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

hero_image_alt_text===A picture of the Hawaii Capitol Building. An open air building with palm trees in front.
thumbnail_alt_text===A picture of the Hawaii Capitol Building. An open air building with palm trees in front.
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