Protect your e-cig rights

UPDATE: Monday Mar. 10, 2014

SB2495 a devastating bill to the electronic cigarette industry in Hawaii is on the move. The revised bill now includes ecigarettes within the definition of "smoking devices". The bill is headed to the Health Comity for public hearing. 

See the exact bill verbage:

  • Includes electronic smoking devices within the definition of "tobacco products" under chapter 245, Hawaii Revised Statutes, thereby subjecting wholesalers, dealers, and retailers of electronic smoking devices to the same licensing and permitting requirements as wholesalers, dealers, and retailers of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Establishes an excise tax on electronic smo king devices equal to an unspecified per cent of the wholesale price of each electronic smoking device kit, electronic smoking device nicotine cartridge, or electronic smoking device nicotine refill sold, used, or possessed by a wholesaler or dealer on or after October 1, 2014. Amends Hawaii''s anti-smoking statute to prohibit the use of electronic smoking devices in places open to the public and places of employment. License and permit requirements for wholesalers, dealers, and retailers of electronic smoking devices and excise tax effective 1/1/2015. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD3)
 
Public hearing will be held on 3/12/14 at 8:30am at the Hawaii State Capitol Building room 329. Please attend if you are able and be sure to submit written testimony here: http://1.usa.gov/1nezUay.
 

UPDATE: Tuesday Feb. 18, 2014

SB2495 is heading to the Ways and Means Committee and will hold decision making on 02-20-14 at the Hawaii State Capitol building. Your help is needed to stop these bills and voice your opinion to Hawaii state lawmakers. If passed this bill will have a hard hitting impact to the electronic cigarette industry in Hawaii.

What is this bill?

SB2495 is a large bill which contains many different parts, all of which are destructive to the ecig industry in Hawaii. In summary this bill proposes to:

-Makes all ecig vendors obtain the same permits as tobacco distributors.

-Increase the permit fees associated with ecig distributors. Those fees would be used to subsidize competitor smoking cessation programs which are inefficient. 

-Establish a tax on the sale of ecigs, devices, eliquid, etc. starting on October 1, 2014. 

-Restricts the sale and distribution of all ecig devices and eliquid in the same manor as tobacco products. 

How can I submit my opinion? 

1) Simply visit the bill webpage and click on the "Submit Testimony" you will need to sign in to do so. 

2) Write your opinion on the restriction of the sale of electronic cigarettes in Hawaii. 

Quick Talking points:

- To date there is no evidence that electronic cigarette usage has harmed anyone.

- This bill falsely defines vapor products as "electronic smoking devices" and deceptively refines "smoking" to include ecigs in an attempt to restrict their usage in the same places as tobacco cigarettes.

- Enacting unwarranted and unenforceable regulations carries the risk of unintended consequences like sending former smokers back to combustable tobacco products. 

- Requiring face to face sales for vapor product sales is a legislative overreach.

- There would be an immediate loss of jobs in Hawaii as the online portion of our business would be relocated to the mainland US. 

- SB2495 puts ecigs in the framework of tobacco cigarettes for a product that contains no tobacco, produces no smoke, and has been found to have a modified risk profile in comparison to tobacco products. 

It is also recommend to send in your testimony via email to all the members who sit on the chair for the bill. The more ecig users who voice their opinion we will have more ability to show how devastating this bill will be for the growing industry here in Hawaii. Here is a list of emails which you can easily copy and paste them into your email browser:

senbaker@capitol.hawaii.gov

sennishihara@capitol.hawaii.gov

senwakai@capitol.hawaii.gov

senshimabukuro@capitol.hawaii.gov

sendige@capitol.hawaii.gov

sengreen@capitol.hawaii.gov

**Phone calls are also welcome to the Senators. A list of their contacts can be found here.



UPDATE: Tuesday Feb. 11, 2014

SB2222 was held for public hearing Tuesday morning at the Hawaii State capitol. The room was filled with Hawaii residents and officials who wanted to testify in regards to the flavor ban of eliquid. After a long debate between senators and compelling testimony, the verbiage of the bill was altered to remove the term "electronic smoking device" which in effect removes the proposed ban on flavored eliquid, a sure win for Hawaii electronic cigarette users. The bill was passed shortly after modifying the verbage.

In addition, SB651 was also held for hearing and also had the verbiage altered to remove "electronic smoking devices" and passed shortly after. It was a successful day at the Hawaii State capitol however, there are more bills coming up for public hearing which can impact the way Hawaii residents consume their ecigs. 

 


UPDATE: Saturday Feb. 8, 2014

Hawaii is under a major attack.  Help is needed from all vapers and harm reduction advocates to stop these counterproductive attacks on public health and the freedom of adult consumers. Below are a run down of the current Senate bills which you can make a difference on. Please take a moment to act now to protect your vaping rights in Hawaii. Below we have updated all the Senate bills which are currently in rotation and will likley be passed without your help.

 What can you do?

Simply email the committee members for each of the 4 Senate bills below to voice your opinion on each bill. We have pulled all the email addresses for you to easily copy and paste into your email to take action now. In addition, there will be a public hearing at the state capitol on SB2222 on 2/11/14 9:30AM in conference room 229 which we encourage you to attend. 

 


SB2222 - The committee(s) on CPN/JDL has scheduled a public hearing on 02-11-14 9:30AM in conference room 229 

This bill will:

  • Ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in flavors other than tobacco, mint, menthol, and wintergreen (HB 1788 & SB 2222)
  • Ban the sale of electronic cigarettes in ALL flavors other than tobacco (HB 1788 & SB 2212)

Take action against SB2222: Send an email to these Senators below who introduced this bill. 

senbaker@capitol.hawaii.gov

senshimabukuro@capitol.hawaii.gov

senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov

senkeithagaran@capitol.hawaii.gov

sengaluteria@capitol.hawaii.gov

 If opposed, here are some easy talking points to include in your email:

  • A ban of flavors would cripple the Hawaii electronic cigarette industry
  • Alcohol and other smoking cessation products use flavoring in their products as well which are not banned, so why ban flavored ecigs?
  • The destruction of the Hawaii electronic cigarette industry would have an economical impact with regards to employment and also access to alternative vapor products
  • Banning the sale of flavored eliquid would create a "black market" for flavored liquid and limit the ability of large manufactures to provide quality manufactured products
  • The elimination of flavored ecigs would benefit big tobacco by forcing ecig users back into the tobacco environment 

 

In a recent research survey done by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Research, researchers conducted an Internet survey of over 4,500 adult electronic cigarette consumers. The participants’ average age was 40 years old. The vast majority (90%) of those surveyed were ex­smokers, with the average respondent having been cigarette­free for approximately one year. Among those users, the most commonly used flavors were fruits, followed by sweets and tobacco. On a scale of 1-5, the average score given by the respondents for the importance of flavor variability in reducing or quitting smoking was a 4 “very important”. Almost 50% of the respondents answered that a lack of flavor variability would increase their cravings for tobacco cigarettes. The full report can be found here: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/10/12/7272.


SB2495 - The committee(s) on HTH/CPN deferred the measure until 02-10-14 1:00PM in conference room 229 (We submitted testimony and attended)

This bill will:

  • Ban ecigarette use everywhere in Hawaii where smoking is banned (See alsoHB 2321 & SB 2871, both of which would similarly ban ecigarette use everywhere smoking is banned)
  • Ban Internet sales by requiring face-to-face sales
  • Require both a retail tobacco sales permit and a separate license to sell electronic cigarettes
  • Use the funds from the license to fund ineffective smoking cessation programs

Take action against SB2495: Send an email to these Senators below to voice your opinion on this bill. 

senbaker@capitol.hawaii.gov

sennishihara@capitol.hawaii.gov

senwakai@capitol.hawaii.gov

senshimabukuro@capitol.hawaii.gov

sendige@capitol.hawaii.gov

If opposed, here are some easy talking points to include in your email:

  • There is no scientific proof that ecigs are "harmful"
  • This bill falsely defines vapor products as electronic smoking devices and again lumps "smoking" into ecigs
  • It is impossible to enforce an ecig usage ban
  • Restricting the usage of ecigs forces users back into the tobacco environment which puts their health at risk
  • Electronic cigarettes are a plus for public health

SB2572 - Both committees deferred the measure

This bill would:

  • Place an undetermined tax on all electronic cigarette devices, cartomizers, tanks, batteries, liquids, etc. that could be as high at 85% of wholesale. 

Take action against SB2572: Send an email to these Senators below who introduced this bill. 

senshimabukuro@capitol.hawaii.gov

sengreen@capitol.hawaii.gov

senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov

 If opposed, here are some easy talking points to include in your email:

  • The FDA has yet to release any regulations over existing products. In fact, proposed regulation did not gain approval by the Office of Management & Budget of the White House. 
  • The tax unfairly puts an increased cost to components of an ecig which do not contain nicotine such as: universal batteries, plastic tips, USB charging wires, etc. How can these universal items be taxed?
  • Imposing a tax on Hawaii retailers would put them at a disadvantage to compete nationally and turn Hawaii customers on to mainland based companies who would be able to offer product at a cheaper price with no tax.

 


SB2029 - Both committees recommend that the measure be PASSED, WITH AMENDMENTS. 

This bill would:

  • Increase the legal purchasing age to 21. 

Take action against SB2029: Send an email to these Senators below who introduced this bill. 

sengreen@capitol.hawaii.gov

senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov

If opposed, here are some easy talking points to include in your email:

  • The increased age restriction for vapor products to 21 years old unfairly restricts those individuals who are already of legal age to purchase tobacco products.
  • The age restriction increase even extends to vapor products which do no contain nicotine but dose not apply to other tobacco-free and nicotine-free products such as herbal cigarettes and imitation snuff. 
  • This bill dose not extent to other cessation products containing nicotine such as patches, inhalers, and other nicotine products. 
  • We fully anticipate the FDA to restrict the vapor products below the age of 18.