Hawaii County Proposes Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products

Regulations by 2FIRSTS.ai
Dec.21.2023
Hawaii County Proposes Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products
A proposal to ban flavored tobacco products in Hawaii's Big Island received widespread praise from residents and the county council.

According to a report by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on December 21, Hawaii County has introduced a new proposal to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products on the Big Island, which has received widespread praise from residents and the Hawaii County Council on Wednesday.

 

Bill 102, if passed, would prohibit the marketing or sale of any tobacco products with flavors or scents other than the taste of tobacco in the entire county. To become law, this bill requires further parliamentary voting and the mayor's signature, but even then, its enforcement would still require state-level actions.

 

During Wednesday's bill reading session, dozens of residents, including children and teachers, strongly urged the council to vote in favor of this measure in order to safeguard the health of students on Grand Island.

 

Mitzie Higa, representative of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, expressed that teachers and school leaders often confiscate a considerable number of e-cigarettes and related devices from students, but they are unable to completely eradicate this issue. "We don't want to punish students; what we need is regulation of the tobacco industry," stated Higa.

 

The position of the Western Province is supported by other anti-tobacco advocates. Kealoha Madriaga of the Hawaii Public Health Institute stated that if menthol flavors were discontinued, "44,000 people would quit smoking." He explained that without the refreshing taste of menthol to soothe the stimulation caused by smoking, people would no longer find enjoyment in it.

 

Meanwhile, some social groups have expressed concerns about the ban on the sale of tobacco products. Jasmin Rios, spokesperson for small businesses, argues that such a ban would harm small enterprises and drive users towards unregulated black markets. Tina Yamaki, Chairperson of the Hawaii Retail Merchants Association, further contends that this prohibition would completely dismantle the tobacco market.

 

Lastly, the parliament members commended the children who attended the meeting and unanimously decided to support the legislation. The Hawaii parliament will have a final vote on the bill during a future session. However, even if the vote passes, this ban will not be enforced. This is because the current state tobacco regulations take precedence over county regulations, and this ban can only come into effect after the state government passes a bill granting counties the authority to regulate tobacco products.

 

Disclaimer: 
This article is translated from an original Chinese article available on 2firsts.cn by AI, and has been reviewed and edited by 2FIRSTS's English editorial team. The Chinese original text is the only authoritative source of information. The exclusive copyright and license rights to this article are held by 2FIRSTS Technology Co., Ltd. Any reproduction, reprinting, or redistribution of this article, either in part or in full, requires express written permission from 2FIRSTS and must include clear attribution along with a link to this content. Non-compliance may result in legal action. 2FIRSTS Technology Co., Ltd. reserves the right to pursue legal actions in case of unauthorized use or distribution.

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