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E-cigarette use continues to escalate among teens. It puts our children’s health at risk and becomes a lifelong addiction. By addressing the unlawful shipment of e-cigarettes, taxing them as tobacco products, and licensing & permitting sellers, we are implementing comprehensive regulations to address this crisis.

Take Action Now:

We need your help to schedule hearings in FIN for SB975 and SB1447. You may use the sample script provided below to contact Representatives Yamashita and Kitagawa.

Sample Script

Aloha I am _______. I am requesting a hearing for both SB975 and SB1447. These bills work together for a comprehensive approach to strong tobacco policies.

SB975 will address the online sales of e-cigarettes, a tobacco product, to minors and tax e-cigarettes as tobacco products. These products have been recognized as tobacco products by the FDA since 2016. Hawaiʻi continues to lose revenue because we have not put a tobacco tax into place. This measure will include e-cigarettes in our tobacco taxation chapter.

SB1447 is a bill that will RESTORE the ability of the counties to regulate tobacco products at the point of sale. The counties had this ability prior to 2018. The counties have been proactive in adopting innovative tobacco control policies based on community concerns and needs, including Hawaiʻi Island, which was the 4th jurisdiction in the nation to pass Tobacco 21. Current law curtails this ability, and SB1447 would ensure that counties would once again be able to quickly address the needs of their community.

I support these measures because they work together to make our counties and state healthier. Please schedule SB975 and SB1447 for a hearing by Thursday, April 6, to make the second decking deadline. Thank you!

Bill Information

Bill: SB975

Position: Support

Committee: House Committee on Finance

Date/Time: Hearing needs to be scheduled

Talking Points:

  • We appreciate the committee’s intent to regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product. To truly achieve parity and effectively discourage youth use of e-cigarettes, we respectfully request the committee to revert the bill to the SD2 version. This will ensure that e-cigarettes are taxed at 70% of the wholesale price – same as other tobacco products – and restricts online sales to prevent youth access.
  • E-cigarettes have evaded many tobacco regulation laws for decades, leading to a sharp rise in the use of these products, especially by young people, who are enticed by their unregulated marketing and lack of proper regulatory controls on an addictive drug, nicotine.
  • Comprehensive regulation will be a major step in reversing youth use of e-cigarettes.
  • Two decades of comprehensive regulation of cigarettes and other tobacco products has helped Hawaiʻi save $1B in healthcare costs.
  • Comprehensive regulation has lowered the adult smoking rate to 11.6%; and
  • Reduced high school smoking to 5.3% in 2019 (CDC YRBS 2017-2019).
  • E-cigarettes are not FDA-approved cessation devices.
  • Comprehensive tobacco regulation does not stop access to FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy (NRTs) – approved smoking cessation products.
  • E-cigarettes are the only tobacco products without a tobacco tax.
  • Unregulated, unchecked online sales of e-cigarettes need to be addressed. This measure restricts online sales of e-cigarettes directly to consumers – requiring face-to-face purchases makes it harder for youth to obtain these products via the internet. Licensed tobacco retailers would still be able to receive shipments of products.
  • Taxation, regulation, licensing & permitting, education, and cessation services are components of comprehensive tobacco regulation and a key to lowering the use of tobacco use.