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Alabama: News



March 3, 2020
  • Senate Bill 2228 would ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, as well ban any sale of any tobacco product “other than through retail sales via a direct, in-person exchange.”

  • Senate Bill 2538 would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including cigars, cigarettes, and vapor products.

  • House Bill 2457 would also ban the sale of flavored tobacco products and require the Department of Education “to establish a safe harbor program” for minors to dispose of e-cigarettes.

  • Senate Bill 2903 would ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products.

  • The most recent data on Hawaiian youth tobacco use is from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. In 2017, only 3.5 percent of Hawaiian high school students reported using e-cigarettes daily. Further, only 1.2 percent reported smoking combustible cigarettes daily, and only 8.9 percent reported smoking a cigarette on at least one day in the 30 days prior to the survey.

  • In analyses by The Heartland Institute, less than 10 percent of youth are using e-cigarettes daily as indicated in Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, and Vermont.

  • Youth are not using vapor products because of flavors, but rather because of peer pressure and because their friends and/or family members have used these products. In an analysis of five states, only 15.6 percent of high school students cited using e-cigarettes because of flavors.

  • There is no data indicating that menthol cigarettes lead to an increase in youth tobacco use. Analysts at the Reason Foundation examined youth tobacco rates and menthol cigarette sales. The authors of the 2020 report found that states “with more menthol cigarette consumption relative to all cigarettes have lower rates of child smoking.”

  • In 2018, the vapor industry provided over $100 million in economic output in Hawaii, with 451 direct vaping-related jobs that generated over $18 million in wages. Further, Hawaii collected over $9 million in state taxes attributable to vaping.

  • In 2019, Hawaii received an estimated $160.3 million in revenue attributed to tobacco taxes and settlement payments. In the same year, the Aloha state dedicated only $4.5 million on tobacco control programs, including education and prevention. To put it in a greater perspective, in 2018, tobacco companies spent $26.1 million marketing tobacco products in Hawaii.



January 15, 2020

Key Points:

  • Hawaii’s vaping industry provided more than $100 million in economic activity in 2018 while generating 451 direct vaping-related jobs. The national average of sales of disposables and prefilled cartridges exceeded $11 million in 2016.

  • As of November 13, 2019, HDH has reported four cases of vaping-related lung illnesses. HDH notes two of the patients are adolescents and two are adults and offers no other information. HDH earns a D for its reporting on vaping-related lung illnesses.

  • In 2018, 20.9 percent of Hawaii high school students reported using vapor products on at least one day in the previous 30 days. Only 26.4 percent of Hawaii high school students cited flavors as a reason for e-cigarette use. More data is needed.   

  • Only 1 percent of FDA retail compliance checks in Hawaii resulted in sales of e-cigarettes to minors from January 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.

  • Hawaii spends very little on tobacco prevention. In 2019, Hawaii dedicated only $4.5 million or 2 percent of what the state received in tobacco settlement payments and taxes, to tobacco control programs.


May 1, 2019
  • Heartland’s State Government Relations Manager Lindsey Stroud examines the effects of Tobacco 21 laws on youth e-cigarette use in Hawaii and Massachusetts.

  • Hawaii was the first state to implement T-21 laws, going into effect January 1, 2016.

    • In 2015, 22.2 and 5.0 percent of Hawaiian high school and middle school students, respectively, reported ever using an e-cigarette product, according to the 2015 Hawai’i Youth Tobacco Survey.

    • Moreover, 12.9 percent of high school students and 7.6 percent of middle school students reported current e-cigarette use, or any use of an e-cigarette product within 30 days of the survey.

  • Despite T-21 taking effect in 2016, data from the 2017 Hawai’i Youth Tobacco Survey found e-cigarette use among high school and middle school students actually increased.

    • In 2017, 39.4 percent of high school students reported use of e-cigarettes—a 43 percent rise.  

    • Hawaiian high school students reporting current use of e-cigarettes (within the past 30 days) also increased to 20.9 percent—a 38 percent surge.

  • Counties in Massachusetts passed T-21 in 2015, and also reported rise in youth e-cigarette use.

  • In the 2019 Massachusetts Prevention Needs Assessment Survey, data from the 2018 YRBS survey found use of e-cigarette products slightly decreased.

    • However, current use increased among high school students with 28.9 percent of 10th graders and 28.9 percent of 12th graders reporting use of e-cigarettes in the 30 days prior to the survey.

    • Even worse, current e-cigarette use among 10th graders increased by more than 37 percent from 2016 to 2018.

  • Other states have proposed taxing e-cigarettes to deter youth use, but analysis from Heartland finds youth use increases, even after taxes are applied.

  • In 2016, Pennsylvania passed a 40 percent wholesale tax on vaping products. In 2017, e-cigarette use among 10th and 12th graders increased from 20.4 and 27 percent respectively, in 2015, to 21.9 and 29.3 percent in 2017.


February 27, 2019
  • SB 1009 bans characterizing flavors including, but not limited to, “tastes or aromas relating to any candy, chocolate, vanilla, honey, fruit, cocoa, coffee, dessert, alcoholic beverage, menthol, mint, wintergreen, herb, or spice.

  • The bill intends to “reduce tobacco-related health disparities and address the youth vaping epidemic.

  • Data from the “2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey and the “2018 Monitoring the Future Survey” found an increase in the number of youth who say they vape more than one time per month, but this is a misleading figure because it doesn’t make clear whether a person had, for example, vaped twice and then never vaped again or vaped multiple times per day each day of the month.

  • Flavors are necessary to tobacco harm reduction.

    • A 2016 CASAA survey of 27,343 adult e-cigarette users found 72 percent of respondents “credited tasty flavors with helping them give up tobacco.”

    • A 2018 survey of nearly 70,000 American adult vapers found that flavors played a vital role, with nearly 95 percent of respondents reporting “the were ever smokers.”

  • Hawaii is also home to more than 36,000 active duty military members. Historically, military personnel smoke more than civilians.

    • In 2011, 24 percent of active duty personnel reported smoking, compared to just 19 percent of civilians.

    • Thanks to vaping, daily smoking rates for servicemen declined to just 7.4 percent in 2015, compared to 12.9 percent for the general population.

    • The same analysis found that 11.1 percent of service members were daily e-cigarette users, and in junior enlisted ranks, “nearly 20 percent are current e-cigarette users.”

  • Banning flavors in e-cigarettes would essentially eradicate tobacco harm reduction in Hawaii. As e-cigarettes are 95 percent safer than combustible cigarettes, their use could help reduce health care costs related to smoking, as well as improve local economies by providing new business opportunities.

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