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Thursday, January 27, 2022
Hawaii: State of Tobacco Control
By News Release @ 3:25 AM :: 852 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Health Care, Taxes

State of Tobacco Control 2022

Proven Policies to Prevent and Reduce Tobacco Use

From American Lung Association, January, 2022

The 20th annual American Lung Association "State of Tobacco Control" report evaluates states and the federal government on the proven-effective tobacco control laws and policies necessary to save lives. The report serves as a blueprint for what state and federal leaders need to do to eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco use. This year's report recognizes the progress that has been made toward reducing tobacco use over the past 20 years and how youth vaping and flavored tobacco products threaten that progress. The report also outlines the federal, state and local policy actions that are necessary to put the country on a path to end tobacco use and eliminate health inequities made worse by tobacco use over the next 20 years.

Hawaii Facts

Economic Cost Due to Smoking: $526,253,732

Adult Smoking Rate: 11.6%

High School Smoking Rate: 5.3%

High School Tobacco Use Rate: 23.2%

Middle School Smoking Rate: 3.1%

Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 1,420

Hawaii Highlights

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Hawaii. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by Hawaii's elected officials:

  • Maintain funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs by protecting the Hawaii Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund;
  • Prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products; and
  • Establish parity between cigarette and electronic cigarette taxation, permitting and licensing.

The 2021 legislative session in Hawaii did not see major progress for tobacco control policy. Rather, the American Lung Association joined together with partners and advocates to protect the raiding of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund, the primary source of funding for tobacco cessation and prevention programs in the state. House Bill 1296, which would have eliminated the Trust Fund and moved the dollars into the General Fund, passed both chambers of the legislature and was sent to the Governor's desk. Advocates quickly organized and succeeded in having Governor David Ige veto the legislation.

During the legislative session, which took place as scheduled but all testimony was held virtually due to COVID-19, various bills to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products, including e-liquids, were introduced (HB 992, HB1327, HB1328, SB 63, SB1146) but failed to pass out of their respective committees. House Bill 826, which would have achieved tax parity as well as restrict sales of flavored tobacco products with an exception for menthol, made it through most committees, dying during conference between the two houses of the legislature.

Other bills to aiming to define tobacco products to include e-liquids, thereby bringing tax, permitting, and licensing parity with other tobacco products (HB0993, HB1329, SB0621, SB0894) also did not make it out of their respective committees.

While the legislature nearly eliminated the Hawaii Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund, December 2020 polling by the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii showed that 85% of Hawaii residents believe it is "very important" for the state to dedicate revenue to programs aimed at preventing tobacco use among kids and helping smokers quit. This was a considerable increase over the 78% of Hawaii residents that said the same thing in 2017. These polling results show that most Hawaii residents strongly believe in tobacco control programs having dedicated funding.

Because of COVID-19 and its economic impact on our state, much attention is expected to be placed on economic recovery efforts during the next legislative session. The American Lung Association along with its partners will be working towards continuing to place an emphasis on the value, both financial and health-related, of effective tobacco control policies.

The American Lung Association in Hawaii will continue to work with its partners and volunteers to protect dedicated funding for tobacco control activities, bring tax parity among all tobacco products, and eliminating the sale of all flavored tobacco products.

---30---

CB: Hawaii Gets An F For Keeping E-Cigarette Flavors Within Kids’ Reach  

SA: Nonprofit gives Hawaii failing grade in preventing youth vaping

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