It’s hard to believe that in just a few short months the Hawaii 2022 state legislative session will start. While we wish it was not the case the latest information we have is that the 2022 session will be much like the 2021 session, the Capitol building may not be fully open to the public. With that we don’t anticipate that our coalition partners and we will be holding in-person volunteer days at the Capitol. However, it is still vitally important you connect with your lawmakers to raise your voice on important issues. We will continue to provide you ways to make an impact. Your emails and phone calls will be more important than ever.
Our work in the 2022 session will be focused heavily on trying to address the youth vaping crisis in our state. Our focus will be on three issues:
- Restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol and mint.
- Taxing e-cigarettes/vaping devices to create pricing parity with other tobacco products. We believe that these products should be treated like traditional tobacco products and that includes higher taxes to discourage their harmful use.
- Updating the tobacco retail licensing program to include e-cigarette/vape retailers. Right now shops that sell exclusively e-cigarettes don’t have to obtain a license with the state like traditional tobacco retailers do. Licensure will improve education outreach to retailers, and the threat of loss of license will provide disincentive to sell e-cigarettes to those under age 21.
Hawaii like many states has seen an increase in the number of teenagers and young adults using flavored e-cigarette devices. Eighty percent of tobacco users start with a flavored product and that is why we believe enticing flavors should be removed from tobacco products. Recent data tells us that 30.6 percent of Hawaii high schoolers admit to regularly using flavored e-cigarettes/vape. On some islands it’s much higher.
Passing this legislation will be challenging, but for the health of our community and our keiki we need to address the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in Hawaii. We look forward to working together with you to build a healthier Hawaii in 2022.
hero_image_alt_text===A picture of 5 different products, some are vape devices some are office supplies but it's hard to tell which is which
thumbnail_alt_text===A picture of 5 different products, some are vape devices some are office supplies but it's hard to tell which is which