Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 1009

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 1009 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to prohibit the sale or offering for sale of any flavored tobacco product, including menthol tobacco products, within the State beginning on January 1, 2020.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health; Department of Education; Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of the County of Hawaii; one member of the Hawaii County Council, one member of the Maui County Council; Hawaii Public Health Institute; Hawaii Primary Care Association; Hawaii State Teachers Association; Hawaii Pacific Health; Coalition for Tobacco Free Hawaii's Youth Council; Hawaii Youth Services Network; Hawaii Dental Hygienists' Association; Lanai Community Health Center; Peer Education Program; American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network; University of Hawaii Student Health Advisory Council; The Root Cellar Studio Maui; Patients Without Time; American Heart Association; Keiki Injury Prevention Coalition; Bridge Club Hawaii; We Are One, Inc.; Blue Zones Project; Pediatric Therapies Hawaii; The Man Cave; Hawaii COPD Coalition; Hoomanapono Political Action Committee; Pearl City Neighborhood Board No. 21; over eighty individuals; and a petition signed by two hundred ninety-two individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from Retail Merchants of Hawaii, Vape Kings, Smokeless Hawaii, Black Lava Vape, Hawaii Smokers Alliance, Volcano Fine Electronic Cigarettes, HI Lyfe Vaporz, Hawaii Petroleum Marketers Association, and more than fifty-five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General and Hawaii Food Industry Association.


Your Committee finds that tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States and in Hawaii. An estimated twenty-one thousand children in Hawaii currently under the age of eighteen will ultimately die prematurely from smoking. Public health experts have expressed concerns that flavored tobacco products promote youth initiation of tobacco use because flavors can mask the natural harshness and taste of tobacco, which makes flavored tobacco products easier to use and increases their appeal among new users. Your Committee further finds that flavored tobacco products, including menthol tobacco products, pose a substantial health risk to Hawaii's citizens, particularly to children and teenagers. The State has a substantial interest in protecting its residents from tobacco dependence and the illness and premature death associated with tobacco use.


Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1) Adopting amendments suggested by the Department of the Attorney General to:


(A) Amend language establishing a rebuttable presumption that a tobacco product is a flavored tobacco product for consistency with other presumptive language in the Penal Code;


(B) Clarify that only flavored tobacco products, rather than all tobacco products, are to be considered contraband and forfeited;


(C) Specify the specific penalties for violations of the criminal offense established by this measure and make an associated conforming amendment; and


(D) Remove language requiring this measure to be liberally construed, as this could lead to ambiguity when referring to criminal offenses; and


(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1009, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1009, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,