The state House committee on Health recently amended a bill aimed at regulating electronic smoking devices by stripping it of its taxation elements but keeping its limitations on where the devices can be used.
Originally, SB2495 proposed changing the law surrounding the sale and use of the cigarette alternatives by requiring retailers of electronic smoking devices to obtain a license from the Department of Health; limit the retail sale of the products to retailers who also have a retail tobacco permit; use revenue from the sale of the devices to support smoking cessation programs in the state; amend Hawaii’s anti-smoking statute to prohibit the use of the devices in public places and places of employment; and restrict the sale, distribution and display of the products in a manner similar to tobacco.
The amended bill was not available for review as of press time Thursday.
A spokesperson from Rep. Della Au Belatti’s office said it was not clear what other parts of the bill were amended, just that the language regarding the tax on the product was taken out and restrictions on where the cigarette alternatives could be used were left.
Reps. Belatti, Daynette Morikawa, Richard Creagan, Mark Hashem and Justin Woodson all voted in favor SB2495. Reps. Jordan, Kobayashi, Marcus Oshiro, Lauren Kealohilani Matsumoto all voted the measure be passed with reservations. Rep. Mike Carroll was excused.