Bill Loosening State Ethics Dies; E Cigarette Regulation Bill Passes Senate After 70 Percent Tax Increase Removed

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HAWAII STATE CAPITOL Photo: Emily Metcalf
HAWAII STATE CAPITOL Photo: Emily Metcalf

A bill that would have loosened ethical prohibitions against gift-giving to state officials has died a quiet death in the state House of Representatives.

Another measure restricting and taxing sales of “electronic cigarettes” has been substantially amended but is still alive.

The ethics measure, HB2457, was introduced by Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s administration.

It would have allowed charities to give state officials, including legislators, invitations of unlimited value to fundraising events, even when the overt purpose of the gifts was to influence decisions of the gift recipients.

The state Ethics Commission spoke pout against the measure, as did groups including the League of Women Votes and Common Cause.

Members of the House Judiciary Committee decided Thursday to shelve the bill.

The e-cigarettes bill, SB2233, was passed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee today after members voted to delete language imposing the 70% tobacco tax on the devices.

The other main portion of the bill, restricting sales of e-cigarettes to minors, remains intact.

Opponents of the taxing idea said the devices, which deliver vaporized nicotine to users, do not contain tobacco, do not emit hazardous or noxious smoke, and actually help customers break smoking habits.

 

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15 COMMENTS

  1. I’m glad that the tax is not being imposed on the electronic cigarettes. They are the healthier alternative to real cigs. The bill is a good idea, the one e-cig that I use is Green Nicotine ( http://greennicotine.com/ ). The thing I like about them is that no matter what before you can purchase their product you must show your ID and prove that you are 18 or older. They have helped my life and to me are the best e cigarette that I have tried.

  2. People do’t realize that the same ingrediant in and E-Cig is used in nebulizer treatments for asthma and COPD! This product actually helps people to make a better health chioce. Are we going too impose a tax on whole wheat bread too? or Veggies? or Vitamins? Come on people get informed before making judgements!

  3. heavens-to-betsy decry that mean old e-cig as a killer of keiki! Meanwhile, today I watched as the kids were fashioning their own toy guns after a tv show(cartoons) “…to practice killing each other.” Yeah we need to get rid of the nasty old e-cig? lol Bunch of maniacal legislators with too much time on their hands and no real idea of true problems facing the people of Honolulu and the rest of the STATE!!! What is wrong with those legislators anyway?

  4. Only a small portion of the vapors generated by these devices are retained by the person using the device. The remainder is release to the environment similar to how cigarettes release second hand smoke. This product generates nicotine, an addictive item, and the environment immediately surrounding the inhaler is polluted with nicotine. Whether it contains any tars or other trace chemicals is immaterial to me.

    As a non-smoker, this product is non as benign as its proponents would like others to believe. This product should be regulated and its use controlled in the same manner as cigarettes. Taxed as well!

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