Honolulu, Hawaii

, 2001

RE: S.B. No. 181

S.D. 2



Honorable Robert Bunda

President of the Senate

Twenty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2001

State of Hawaii


Your Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Housing and Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 181, S.D. 1, entitled:


beg leave to report as follows:

The purpose of this measure is to establish a tobacco licensing scheme.

The Department of Health (DOH), State Attorney General, American Heart Association, Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii, and Hawaii Food Industry Association testified in support of this measure. The Department of Taxation and Honolulu Liquor Commission testified in opposition to the measure.

Currently, wholesalers and dealers of cigarette and tobacco products are licensed by the Department of Taxation under the Cigarette Tax and Tobacco Tax Law, chapter 245, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS). Retailers who purchase cigarettes from licensed wholesalers or dealers are not subject to licensing.

This measure amends chapter 281, HRS, the Intoxicating Liquor Law, to create a licensing program under the jurisdiction of the counties' liquor commissions for the regulation of retail and wholesale tobacco sales in the counties.

Your Committees find that the establishment of a tobacco licensing mechanism is essential to a comprehensive state program of smoking prevention, education, and control. However, your Committees further find that a statewide program for tobacco licensing, rather than the system of separate county-wide licensing programs contemplated by this measure, would ensure uniformity and consistency in the regulation of tobacco sales. Further, the DOH would be the appropriate state agency to administer a statewide tobacco licensing program since smoking and tobacco use is a public health issue, and existing smoking laws fall within title 19, HRS, relating to Health.

Your Committees further find that the proposed licensing laws should excuse culpability where the sale of tobacco to a minor, or to an adult who purchases tobacco for a minor, is made in reliance upon an apparently authentic identification card, or where the clerk does not know that the tobacco is intended for distribution to a minor, respectively.

Based upon the above considerations, your Committees have amended this measure to:

(1) Establish a statewide tobacco licensing program under the jurisdiction of the DOH, rather than county-wide programs under the jurisdiction of each county's liquor commission;

(2) Authorize the DOH to adopt rules relating to the storage, distribution, or sale of tobacco products;

(3) Prohibit a licensee from selling tobacco to a person over the age of eighteen for distribution to or use by a minor if the licensee knew or should have known that the tobacco was intended to be distributed to or used by a minor; and

(4) Establish an affirmative defense to a charge of selling tobacco to a minor that the minor had a false photo identification that closely resembled an authentic photo identification.

Your Committees have also made technical, nonsubstantive amendments to this measure.

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Housing and Judiciary that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 181, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommend that it be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 181, S.D. 2.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Housing and Judiciary,