Report Title:

Flavored Tobacco; Health



Prohibits the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco products.



H.B. NO.














relating to tobacco.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that there has been a proliferation of flavored tobacco products in recent years.  Many of these products contain fruit, chocolate, honey, candy, mint, cocoa, dessert, herb, spice, or other flavors that are particularly attractive to children.  According to public health experts, children are more likely to choose flavored tobacco when they start smoking or use other tobacco products, in part, because the product names for flavored tobacco products are similar to product names for candy, drinks, and other products marketed directly to children.

     In October 2006, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and the attorneys general of thirty-eight states, including Hawaii, entered into a settlement agreement that ends the sale of candy, fruit, and alcohol flavored cigarettes manufactured and sold by the company.  The states had asserted that Reynolds was violating the 1998 tobacco master settlement agreement's prohibition on youth targeting through its advertising, marketing, and promotion of its flavored cigarettes.  No agreement has been reached with the other tobacco manufacturers.

     The legislature further finds that the continued manufacturing of these products by other tobacco companies increases the incidence of tobacco use among children and that the earlier an individual begins using tobacco products, the more likely the individual will become addicted to and use them throughout the person's lifetime.  Thus, flavored tobacco products generate greater tobacco use, increase addiction and the incidence of smoking and other tobacco-related illnesses and deaths, and result in higher health care costs.

     The purpose of this Act is to protect public health by prohibiting the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco products in the State.

     SECTION 2.  The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:



     §   -1  Definitions.  As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

     "Characterizing flavor" means a distinguishable taste or aroma, other than tobacco, menthol, or clove, imparted either prior to or during consumption.

     "Chewing tobacco" means loose tobacco or a flat compressed cake of tobacco a portion of which is inserted into the mouth.

     "Cigarette" means any product that contains nicotine, is intended to be burned or heated under ordinary condition of use, and consists of or contains:

     (1)  Any roll of tobacco wrapped in paper or in any substance not containing tobacco;

     (2)  Tobacco in any form that is functional in the product that, because of its appearance or the type of tobacco used in the filler or its packaging and labeling, is likely to be offered to or purchased by consumers as a cigarette; or

     (3)  Any roll of tobacco wrapped in any substance containing tobacco that, because of its appearance or the type of tobacco used in the filler or its packaging and labeling, is likely to be offered to or purchased by consumers as a cigarette described in paragraph (1).  The term "cigarette" includes "roll-your-own" that enables consumers to make their own product.

     "Component parts" includes but is not limited to the tobacco, filter, and paper in a cigarette.

     "Constituent" includes a smoke constituent.

     "Smokeless tobacco" means chewing tobacco or tobacco snuff.

     "Tobacco snuff" means a small amount of shredded, powdered, or pulverized tobacco that may be inhaled through the nostrils, chewed, or held in the mouth of an individual consumer.

     §   -2  Prohibition.  No person shall sell, offer for sale, or distribute to any person in this State any cigarette, smokeless tobacco product, or any component part thereof containing a natural or artificial constituent or additive that causes the cigarette or smokeless tobacco product to have a characterizing flavor.

     §   -3  Remedies.  The attorney general may institute a civil action in the name of the State in the circuit court for an injunction prohibiting a violation of this chapter.  If the court grants an injunction in accordance with this section, the State shall not be required to furnish a bond.  The court, upon notice to the defendant in compliance with the Hawaii rules of civil procedure and upon proof that the defendant has violated this chapter, may enjoin further sale, offering for sale, or distribution by the defendant.  The court may impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $5,000 for each violation.  The attorney general may recover costs and disbursements, including costs of investigation and reasonable attorney's fees.  Nothing in this section shall preclude the State or any other person from pursuing any other claims, remedies, or actions available by law."

     SECTION 3.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2009.