State Legislative Session Update

With just a little over a month left in the 2023 legislative session we want to give you an update on two key bills. These two priority bills are aimed at addressing the youth vaping epidemic. Both have already passed out of multiple committees but they still must be heard in House Finance Committee, which has been an obstacle for these issues in the past. They must be scheduled by next Monday or they will not move forward this legislative session.

  • SB 975 – would tax vaping products like other tobacco products are taxed in Hawaii, something that our state currently doesn’t do. We think it’s important that these products be treated like other tobacco products to reduce their attractiveness to price-sensitive youth. The bill would also require e-cigarette retailers to obtain a tobacco sales license to better identify who is selling e-cigarettes and monitor against illegal sales to underage purchasers. It would also add the loss of license threat as a disincentive when selling to underage purchasers multiple times.

  • SB 1447 - would undo the preemption law that passed in 2018 and return decision making power to the counties on tobacco and e-cigarettes. Prior to losing home rule authority counties had begun plans to enact local ordinances designed to address the youth vaping problem. After years of inaction on the problem at the statewide level the counties have indicated they’d like home rule authority returned to them so they can begin to address the problem in their own communities.

Thank you for your support on these issues and for contacting lawmakers asking for their support. We hope to have good news to share with you soon.

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