How does your state compare?

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Hawai‘i. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by Hawai‘i’s elected officials:

  1. Prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products;
  2. Repeal state preemption of county tobacco control authority; and
  3. Increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs by protecting the Master Settlement Agreement funds.
2023 was a year marked by major successes and painful losses in tobacco control advocacy in Hawai‘i. Act 62 was signed into law by Governor Josh Green on June 6 with a large crowd of lawmakers and tobacco control advocates looking on. The Act finally includes electronic smoking devices and e-liquids under the definition of "tobacco products" for purposes of the cigarette tax and tobacco tax law, bringing parity amongst combustible tobacco products and e-cigarettes. The act effectively established the tax rate for electronic smoking devices and e-liquids at 70% of the wholesale price, making the tax on e-cigarettes one of the highest in the nation. The act also increased the license and permit fees for wholesalers, dealers, and retailers and made it illegal to ship electronic smoking devices and liquids except to retailers. While Act 62 was a major milestone in tobacco control, various bills aiming to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products died during the legislative session (HB 1076, SB 1374, HB2347, SB2903, HB551, SB 496). House Bill 551, the most successful in the bunch, passed the House but failed to get a single hearing in the Senate. This marks the 9th year that similar legislation has died in the Hawai‘i Legislature.

The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i and their Youth Council were key partners in the success of Act 62. The Youth Council organized highly effective campaigns and visits to pressure lawmakers to support the legislation. The Coalition staff and members quickly mobilized partners and worked with the media to create coverage of the issue. While a lot has been achieved, a lot more is still undone. To truly turn the tide of the youth vaping epidemic, comprehensive tobacco control must be enacted. This includes instituting full restrictions of all flavored tobacco products and a continued investment in tobacco control, particularly in community-based youth cessation programs, which currently is not funded by the Hawai‘i Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund. Because the state legislature has failed to enact flavored tobacco products restrictions, it’s imperative that preemptions instituted in 2018 that prohibit counties from creating tobacco control policies be repealed. Allowing counties to have the ability to create stronger tobacco control laws will allow the adoption of innovative and place-appropriate laws. The American Lung Association in Hawai‘i will continue to work with its partners and volunteers in 2024 to place an emphasis on the value, both financial and health-related, of effective tobacco control policies. We will continue to advocate for an increase in dedicated funding for tobacco control activities, eliminating the sale of all flavored tobacco products, and allowing counties to be able to determine tobacco control laws for their residents.

Hawaii Facts
Healthcare Costs Due to Smoking: $526,253,732
Adult Smoking Rate: 10.00%
High School Smoking Rate: 3.00%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: N/A
Middle School Smoking Rate: N/A
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 1,420
Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking rate is taken from the 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. A current high tobacco use rate and middle school smoking rate are not available for this state.

Health impact information is taken from the Smoking Attributable Mortality, Morbidity and Economic Costs (SAMMEC) software. Smoking attributable deaths reflect average annual estimates for the period 2005-2009 and are calculated for persons aged 35 years and older. Smoking-attributable healthcare expenditures are based on 2004 smoking-attributable fractions and 2009 personal healthcare expenditure data. Deaths and expenditures should not be compared by state.

Hawaii Information

Learn more about your state specific legislation regarding efforts towards effective Tobacco Control.

State Grades Report Laws & Policies Historical Data