Bill to Ban Online Tobacco Purchases Fails in Hawaii

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Cigar smokers in Hawaii will still be able to shop for their next smoke online, as a bill seeking to make it unlawful to ship tobacco products to anyone other than a holder of a tobacco wholesaler, distributor or retail license died in the state’s legislature.

S.B. 2654 marked the second time in two years that the proposal was introduced, and while this time made it through both chambers, a series of unresolved amendments kept it from full passage. A conference committee with members of the House and Senate failed to act upon the bill prior to the end of the current legislative session on May 3, thus rendering the bill dead.

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In addition to the restriction on online purchases, the bill would have added e-liquids to the definition of tobacco products, while increasing the tobacco permit fee for wholesalers, dealers and retailers. For retailers it would have gone from $20 to $50 per year, while the license for a wholesaler or dealer would jump from $2.50 to $250.

The 2017 version, H.B. 1495, was approved with amendments by the House Committee on Health, but was never heard by the House Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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