Update to Hawaii’s clean indoor law – E-cigarettes

ACT 19
Electronic smoking devices (ESDs) will be prohibited wherever smoking is prohibited by state law (Chapter 328J, HRS).

Electronic smoking devices produce an aerosol of undetermined and potentially harmful substances.  In recent years, ESDs have grown in popularity among youth and young adults both nationally and in Hawaii.  Between the years of 2011 and 2013 experimentation with electronic smoking devices (ESDs) or e-cigarettes tripled among high school students and quadrupled among middle school students.  Nicotine exposure to young developing brains is dangerous according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Manufacturing of the products is currently unregulated, leaving the safety of the products’ contents in question.

Not only does this new law protect people from the dangers of secondhand smoke, it also protects individuals from exposure to harmful chemicals found in aerosols emitted from ESDs.  Eliminating the act of smoking or using e-cigarettes in public places also dissociates unhealthy behaviors from places where people gather.  This is an important way to discourage youth from starting and also help people who want to quit smoking.


[learn_more caption=”New definition of tobacco, electronic smoking device and smoke/smoking”] “Tobacco product” means any product made or derived from tobacco that contains nicotine or other substances and is intended for human consumption or is likely to be consumed, whether smoked, heated, chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, or ingested by other means. “Tobacco product” includes but is not limited to a cigarette, cigar, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff, snus, or an electronic smoking device. “Tobacco product” does not include drugs, devices, or combination products approved for sale by the United States Food and Drug Administration, as those terms are defined in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

“Electronic smoking device” means any product that can be used to aerosolize and deliver nicotine or other substances to the person inhaling from the device, including but not limited to an electronic cigarette, electronic cigar, electronic cigarillo, or electronic pipe, and any cartridge or other component of the device or related product.

“Smoke” or “smoking” means inhaling, exhaling, burning, or carrying any lighted or heated tobacco product or plant product intended for inhalation in any manner or in any form.  “Smoking” includes the use of an electronic smoking device.


[learn_more caption=”What is the new update to the smoke-free law?”] The smoke-free law now includes electronic smoking devices (ESDs) or e-cigarettes.   Wherever smoking is prohibited in bars, restaurants, and public places or workplaces, ESDs are also prohibited.[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Where is smoking prohibited by this law?”] Smoking of all kinds is not allowed in:

  • Enclosed or partially enclosed public places and places of employment.  This includes buses and taxicabs, sports arenas, outdoor arenas, stadiums, and amphitheaters
  • Facilities owned by the state or the counties.
  • Hawaii airports from cabin to curb
  • Enclosed or partially enclosed common areas of any apartment or condominium (including but not limited to lobbies, elevators, hallways, etc.)
  • 20 feet from any entrances, exits or operable windows or ventilation intakes to partially enclosed or enclosed public places or places of employment.

Restaurant/Bars/ Businesses

[learn_more caption=”What do we need to do to comply with this new law?”] You need to:

    • New No EcigPost a sign at each entrance with “Smoking Prohibited by Law” with words at least one-inch high and legible [symbol] or the international “No Smoking” symbol, consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it. The Department of Health highly recommends adding the words: “including e-cigarettes and all other electronic smoking devices” and the “No Smoking” symbol including a pictorial representation of an e-cigarette as illustrated here:
    • The Sign must be legible, prominently posted, and properly maintained.
      • You must not allow customers or workers to smoke or use ESDs in your establishment or within 20 feet of your entrances, exits, and ventilation intake
      [/learn_more][learn_more caption=”If I am a restaurant, bar or business owner, can I establish my entire property as smoke-free (including ESDs)?”]Yes.  Section 328J-8 provides that owners, operators, managers or other persons in control of an establishment, facility, or outdoor area may declare that an entire establishment, facility or outdoor area or any part of it be smoke-free, including ESDs.[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”How do I deal with people who want to smoke or use e-cigarettes?”]You or your staff must remind them of the law and can politely explain that they must step outside (more than 20 feet from windows, doors, exits, etc.) to smoke or use ESDs or e-cigarettes.[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”What do I do about a customer who refuses to comply?”]The purpose of the law is to protect others from the harmful effect of secondhand smoke and aerosol.  For tips on how to handle difficult situations, call the Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Education Program at (808) 586-4613 or toll free at 1 (800) 810-8112.  If the violator is threatening physical harm or is belligerent, it may be necessary to call the police.[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”What are the fines for this law?”]Failure to comply with the act subject the business to fines. Businesses that don’t comply with the law may be fined $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and up to $500 for subsequent violations.  Repeated offenses could result in the loss of permits and licenses.[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Where can I get information about the new law?”]The new law can be read in its entirety here.

      Visit the Hawaii State Capitol website and search for “HRS 328J”[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”How can I file a complaint?”]You may call the Hawaii State Department of Health at (808) 586-4613 to report an observed violation of this law.[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Are there any resources available to help businesses educate their employees or inform customers about the new law?  Where can businesses go if they have questions or need assistance?”]For more information or resources to help educate staff about the new law, contact the Tobacco Prevention and Education Program at the Hawaii State Department of Health (808) 586-4613 or call toll free at (800) 810-8112.[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”How can I support my employees and patrons if they want to quit smoking?”]The Hawaii Tobacco Quitline offers adults 18 and over access to FREE:

      • Online or Phone coaching
      • Patches or Gum
      • Text2Quit
      • Personalized Quit Plan
      • Includes E-Cigarettes

      Call 1-800-QUITNOW (784-8669) or visit https://hawaiiquitline.org for more information.  To order promotional items click here[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Resources”]Starting January 1, 2016 wherever smoking is prohibited by state law, e-cigarettes (or electronic smoking devices) will also be prohibited.  This pertains to enclosed or partially enclosed places open to the public or places of employment.  For new law language and other details about this law, see this link.

      You may include the following in any Email blasts or newsletters to employees or patrons:

      See the Hawaii State Department of Health’s website for more information and to order free decals or temporary signage

      Listed below are media you may copy or download:

    • Infographic flyer (soon to be available),
    • No smoking logo including an ESD
[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”To order decals and temporary signage”]Email the following information to [email protected]

You may cut and paste the following template into the body of an email and fill in the needed information:

    • Contact name:
    • Phone number:
    • Mailing address:
    • Walk-in address:
    • Quantity of decals:
      • A. Quantity (cling only)
      • B. Quantity (cling)
      • B. Quantity (sticker)
      • C. Quantity (cling)
      • C. Quantity (sticker)
    • Quantity of temporary signs (6″ x 8″ cardstock)
      • Temp sign quantity
MahaloP No Smoking_11x4 PIC
A. 2.5″x 8″ window cling only B. B) 4” X 11” cling or sticker
Round  Cdstock
 C. 5″ window cling or sticker  Temporary card stock, 6″ x 8″

Tobacco Prevention & Education Program – 1250 Punchbowl St. Rm 217- Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 586-4613 / Fax: (808) 586-8252