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Hawaii: Governor Iger may veto flavored e-cigarette ban

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-07-08      Origin: Site

On June 30, according to foreign reports, Hawaii Governor David Iger announced that he may veto the ban on flavored e-cigarettes and tobacco passed by the state legislature in May. It is one of 30 bills in the 2022 Legislative Session.


Iger, a Democrat, said he plans to refuse.


Governor Iger has until July 12 to make a final decision on the bill. If he does not act, it will automatically become law. If he vetoes, the state legislature can overturn the action by a two-thirds vote. It's unclear if the bill's backers will have the vote to override the veto, or if they will seek to override it.


If signed by the governor, the law would ban the sale of all tobacco and nicotine-containing products other than tobacco, including vaping products, cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and nicotine pouches and lozenges. It fines retailers up to $2,000 for violating the ban.


The flavor ban includes menthol e-cigarettes and cigarettes, but provides exemptions for nicotine products authorized through the FDA's Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) pathway. (The FDA has not authorized any menthol vaping products.)


The PMTA waiver has sparked controversy in the state, along with other industry-friendly amendments proposed by state lawmakers. Inclusion of it in the bill caused many anti-tobacco (and anti-vaping) groups to withdraw their support for the legislation.


“The amendment was actually proposed by a registered lobbyist at Juul Labs,” Amanda Fernandez, director of policy and advocacy at the Pacific Health Institute in Hawaii, told Hawaii Public Radio. "What this amendment does is it basically exempts a bunch of flavored tobacco products, including many menthol cigarettes and whatever the FDA authorizes in the future."


Governor Iger cited the PMTA waiver in his written explanation, saying he might veto it. "The definition of flavored tobacco products in the bill was later amended to exempt certain FDA-approved tobacco products," Ige explained. "This amendment essentially invalidates the bill because very few products would actually be included in the ban."


Four states currently have flavored vaping bans, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York. California passed a flavor ban in August 2020, but the law is on hold until voters decide whether to approve the ban in a November 2022 referendum.


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