Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 273

       H.D. 1

       S.D. 1




Honorable Shan S. Tsutsui

President of the Senate

Twenty-Sixth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2011

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred H.B. No. 273, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to curtail tobacco use in Hawaii by imposing an excise tax on tobacco products other than cigarettes, little cigars, and large cigars.  This measure also applies the excise tax to bulk and small quantity purchases of tobacco products and large cigars and directs an unspecified percentage of the excise taxes to tobacco use prevention and treatment programs. 


     Your Committee received comments in support of this measure from George S. Massengale, JD, Director of Government Relations, American Cancer Society Hawaii Pacific, Inc.; Trisha Y. Nakamura, Esq., Policy and Advocacy Director, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii; Donald B. Weisman, Hawaii Government Relations Director, American Heart Association; Megan Inada, MPH, Tobacco Programs Coordinator, Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services; Forrest Batz, PharmD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of Hawaii at Hilo, College of Pharmacy; Valerie Chang, JD, Executive Director, Hawaii COPD Coalition; Marilyn J. Gagen, Marilyn J. Gagen, CPA, LLC; Hardy Spoehr, Executive Director, Papa Ola Lokahi; Valerie K. Saiki, Tobacco Control Specialist, Na Lei Wili Area Health Education Complex; and twenty-seven individuals.


     Your Committee received comments in opposition to this measure from Justin Ingram, Manager, Tobaccos of Hawaii; Mark Miyahira, partner, Shiroma's Wine and More; Jon Fia; and one individual.


     Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Tax Foundation of Hawaii; and William Goo, on behalf of Cigar Association of America, Inc.


     Your Committee finds that imposing an excise tax on tobacco products and applying the tax proportionately to all quantities of tobacco products will discourage tobacco use in Hawaii and improve the overall health of Hawaii's population.  Your Committee also finds it appropriate that a portion of excise taxes collected on sales of tobacco products is used to fund tobacco use prevention and dependence recovery programs.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 273, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,