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Attempts to Crack Down on Smoking Still Alive in Legislature

Publication Date: 4/21/2015
  • Author:Marina Riker
  • Publication:Civil Beat

Whether or not e-cigarettes should be considered in the same category as smoking tobacco has become a debate across the country, and Hawaii is no exception.

A bill that would ban people from smoking e-cigarettes wherever smoking is prohibited passed the Legislature last week, and now awaits the governor’s approval. It’s one of several anti-smoking bills under consideration, with the rest headed for conference committee to iron out differences between Senate and House versions.

House Bill 940, which was introduced by Rep. Joseph Souki, aims to protect the public from potentially harmful chemicals in e-cigarettes by banning them where traditional cigarettes are prohibited, like indoor spaces and workplaces.

Allowing people to smoke e-cigarettes where smoking is banned confuses the public and reverses the progress that has been made in establishing the social norm that smoking is not allowed indoors, the bill states.

E-cigarette manufacturers have marketed their products to be used in places where traditional smoking is banned, like airports and restaurants, said Paul Ho of the American Heart Association in support of HB 940...