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Rationale:

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:

Public hearings are an opportunity for the public to weigh in on bills being considered by lawmakers. Submitting testimony for these hearings is an important way to let lawmakers know your position on these important issues. All you need to do is share why you are in strong support (we have some talking points below to get you started!). Each hearing may have different lawmakers, so you must submit testimony each time there is a new hearing.

Hearing Information

Bill: SB 975

Position: Strong Support

Committee: House Committee on Finance

Date/Time: Tuesday, April 4, at 3:00 PM

Hearing Notice

How to Submit Testimony

  1. Log-in/make an account on the Capitol website.
  2. Go to the page for SB 975 and click on the “Submit Testimony” button.
  3. Upload or write your testimony in SUPPORT of SB 975 (It doesn’t need to be long!).
  4. Please submit testimony by 3:00 PM on Monday, April 3, to ensure your testimony is received on-time and reviewed by the committee members!

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.
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