Gov. Ige Signs Clean Air Bill into Law
Electronic cigarettes will no longer be allowed in areas where smoking is not permitted statewide.
Governor David Ige has signed the Clean Air Bill into law, targeting the use of the popular electronic cigarettes, otherwise known as e-cigarettes. The Department of Health cites studies that show usage among middle and high school students has increased from 2011-2013.
“The erosion of Hawaii’s smoke-free legislation is evident when looking at e-cigarette use among our youth,” said Lola Irvin, Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division manager. “While tobacco use among Hawai’i’s public middle and high school students has declined over the past decade, e-cigarette use has been increasing rapidly. In particular, lifetime e-cigarette use among high school students tripled from 5.1 percent in 2011 to 17.6 percent in 2013, and quadrupled among middle school students, from 1.8 percent to 7.9 percent, during the same time period.”
The new law creates protections for the 2006 Smoke-Free Workplace and Public Places Law. It prohibits e-cigarette use in all locations where smoking is illegal. By signing the bill into law, Hawai’I becomes the fourth state in the country to enact such a measure, joining North Dakota, New Jersey, and Utah.
“These products currently are not regulated and many of the hazardous components in cigarettes are also found in e-cigarette emissions,” said Director of Health Dr. Virginia Pressler. “Just as we found that smoking was dangerous after many years of unrestricted use, we could be unintentionally harming people as a result of not including e-cigarettes as part of our smoke-free laws.”