STAND. COM. REP. NO. 783

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 1447

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which was referred S.B. No. 1447 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO TOBACCO PRODUCTS,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to:

 

(1) Clarify that county ordinances or regulations that regulate the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices are null and void only if they are in direct conflict with or less stringent than state law that governs smoking; and

 

(2) Clarify that counties retain the authority to adopt ordinances that regulate the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices, as long as the ordinances do not directly conflict with and are more stringent than the provisions in state law that govern smoking.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Health, Hawaii State Association of Counties, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, Friends of Kamalani and Lydgate Park, Hawaii COPD Coalition, Hawaii Public Health Institute, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Lung Association in Hawaii, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii's Youth Council, and twelve individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from Aloha Petroleum, Ltd. dba Aloha Petroleum; Kalalau Awawa, LLC dba Minit Stop; Par Hawaii, LLC; Americans for Tax Reform; Retail Merchants of Hawaii, Inc.; Hawaii Smokers Alliance; and eleven individuals.

 

Your Committee finds that geographic tobacco-related disparities are a serious public health problem in Hawaii that requires innovative, community-based solutions. According to the Department of Health, while 11.6 percent of adults in the general population smoke, adults in Hawaii County have the highest prevalence of smoking at 14.0 percent. Smoking within certain subcommunities throughout the State are even higher. Your Committee further finds that youth who live on neighbor islands evidence more current tobacco use than those who live in the City and County of Honolulu. Given the existence of these geographic disparities, there is an urgent need for counties to have the ability to regulate access to tobacco products especially among youth. Additionally, existing state laws have created ambiguity in the effectiveness of county ordinances to regulate smoking that are not in direct conflict with other provisions. This measure will preserve the legal ability of counties to adopt ordinances that regulate the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices in a manner that is more stringent than but not in direct conflict with state law in an effort to be responsive to pressing community needs.

 

Your Committee acknowledges the concerns raised in testimony that this measure, as currently written, does not clearly express that counties can pass local laws that are more stringent than state laws. Therefore, amendments to this measure are necessary to address this concern.

 

Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Repealing existing statutory language that provides that all local ordinances or regulations that regulate the sale of cigarettes, tobacco products, and electronic smoking devices are preempted and that existing local laws and regulations conflicting with state law that governs smoking are null and void;

 

(2) Amending section 1 to reflect its amended purpose;

 

(3) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion; and

 

(4) 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 and Consumer Protection that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1447, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1447, S.D. 1.

 

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

 

 

 

________________________________

JARRETT KEOHOKALOLE, Chair