THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

524

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to county authority on the sale of tobacco products.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that tobacco use continues to be a public health problem in Hawaii, causing approximately one thousand four hundred deaths per year among adults and costs approximately $526,000,000 in direct health care expenditures and $387,30,000 in lost productivity in the State. In response to the heavy burden of tobacco, Hawaii has enacted many tobacco control policies including clean indoor air ordinances and raising the age of sale of tobacco products from eighteen to twenty-one. Many of these initiatives were led by the counties and were later adopted at the state level, extending these protections statewide and ultimately saving the State $1,000,000,000 in healthcare costs over ten years.

The legislature further finds that different communities need different solutions which are most effectively addressed at the local level, as local governments are best able to respond to the needs of the people who live and work there.

The legislature additionally finds that while it is important to establish minimum protections statewide, local level policies are integral to tobacco control because they enable a targeted approach to reduce health disparities. The 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that while 25.3 per cent of high school students in Hawaii currently vape, both Maui and Hawaii counties exceed this, with rates of 31.8 per cent and 32.4 per cent respectively.

The legislature understands that for public health, communities should not be prevented from working with their local elected officials to pass laws tailored to their unique needs. Reversing existing laws or preventing future enactment of such laws negates the value of home rule.

The legislature also finds that an enabling clause to explicitly allow local jurisdictions to pass ordinances that are more stringent than state law was enacted by the legislature in Act 295, Session Laws of Hawaii 2006, and codified as section 328J-15, Hawaii Revised Statutes. The legislature further finds that over the years, communities have adopted and put into action some of the strongest, most innovative, and most effective tobacco control policies, and that these policies have served as catalysts for changing social norms about tobacco use. These policies discourage young people from initiating use and encourage adult tobacco users to quit. A national Healthy People 2020 objective calls to eliminate state laws that preempt stronger local tobacco control laws.

The purpose of this Act is to enable counties and local communities to more effectively regulate the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices.

SECTION 2. Section 328J-15, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to supersede or in any manner affect a county smoking ordinance[;] or the ability of any county to adopt and enforce additional local laws or ordinances that regulate the sale or use of cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices; provided that the local law or ordinance is at least as protective of [the rights of nonsmokers] public health as this chapter."

SECTION 3. Section 328J-11.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is repealed.

["[328J-11.5] Statewide concern. (a) Sales of cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices are a statewide concern. It is the intent of the legislature to regulate the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices in a uniform and exclusive manner.

(b) All local ordinances or regulations that regulate the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices are preempted, and existing local laws and regulations conflicting with this chapter are null and void.

(c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit a county's authority under section 328J-15."]

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Tobacco Products; Cigarettes; Electronic Smoking Devices; Sale; Restriction; Counties; Local Communities; Ordinances; State Law Preemption

 

Description:

Removes provisions of law preempting counties and communities from regulating the sale of tobacco products through local laws and ordinances.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.