Effective immediately, Governor Josh Green signed a bill into law that makes it illegal to import electronic smoking devices and e-liquids into Hawaii. This is part of a years-long effort to prevent children from becoming addicted to nicotine. The latest version of Senate Bill 975 mandates a state general excise tax of 70% on the wholesale price of each existing electronic smoking device or e-liquid sold beginning January 1, 2022 (Act62). This law is aimed at curbing the increasingly popular use of electronic smoking devices that is affecting both Middle and High school students.
Protecting Children from the Dangers of Nicotine Addiction
One in three high school students and one in twenty middle school students vape, statistics that are viewed with concern by society. Governor Green, the only medical doctor ever elected to serve as a Governor, said “Tobacco use continues to be the single most preventable cause of disease that we could deal with, that we can affect. It causes death in the United States. So this is a monumental first step in protecting our keiki from Big Tobacco.”
Stamping down on Vaping
Various legislators and anti-tobacco advocates have vowed that this bill signing will be the first of many efforts to clamp down on vaping and e-cigarette marketing efforts aimed at Hawaii’s youth. Pediatrician Bryan Mih suggests that Hawaii already has gone far enough to ban children from purchasing nicotine, but more needs to be done to follow the Journal of Pediatrics’ 15 recommendations aimed at protecting children from nicotine.
Achieving a Smoke-Free Hawaii
The prohibition on importing e-cigarettes and e-liquids into Hawaii is an important first step in changing the culture of tobacco use. Governor Green applauds the lawmakers, especially young anti-vaping advocates, who have pushed to pass this legislation. With this new law, Hawaii can lead on the banning of e-cigarettes and related products as it did earlier for typical cigarettes.
A Step Towards Protecting Youth From Vaping
Several efforts have been focused on protecting children from vaping. The legislator placed a 70% excise tax on e-liquid and electronic smoking devices to make it harder to acquire, and the new law bans the importation of the items. Protecting children from becoming addicted to nicotine is vital to ensure they remain healthy and lead productive lives.