Protests led by electronic cigarette supporters earlier this month helped defeat a provision in a bill in the Hawaii legislature that would have applied a 70 percent tobacco tax on e-cigs. More than 1,000 people and companies protested the provision and it failed to pass. The bill did pass with a restriction of e-cig sales to minors.
Electronic cigarette bill, SB2233, was passed by the Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Committee Friday, Feb. 10, after members voted to delete language that would have require a 70% tobacco tax on the devices, according to the Hawaii Reporter.
Those opposed to requiring a 70% tax on the devices, which deliver vaporized nicotine to users, noted the devices do not contain tobacco, do not emit hazardous or noxious smoke, and could help customers break smoking habits.
Electronic cigarette manufacturers stand behind banning the sale of the product to minors. Companies like V2 Cigs place warnings on all packaging and require authentication on their website. “We stand behind any legislation banning sales to minors, but when it comes to lumping e-cigarettes unfairly with tobacco cigarettes we are fighting for the rights of our customers,” says Jay Meistrell, CFO of V2 Cigs.