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Bill allows police to take cigarettes from kids

Thu, 15/03/2012 - 6:00pm
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MMMC to clear out the smoke

Fri, 09/03/2012 - 7:00pm
Beginning May 1, smokers will need to leave Maui Memorial Medical Center grounds to light up. Hospital officials announced the center will be tobacco and smoke free, meaning that "no tobacco use of any kind will be permitted on the hospital campus, including vehicles on hospital grounds," according to an announcement this week. Officials will eliminate designated smoking areas. Patients will be offered nicotine replacement or nicotine withdrawal therapy and other resources during hospitalization.
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Hospital Health: MMMC to Become Smoke Free

Mon, 05/03/2012 - 7:00pm
Starting May 1, the Maui Memorial Medical Center will become a completely tobacco and smoke-free facility. The new initiative eliminates tobacco use of any kind anywhere on the hospital campus, including vehicles on hospital grounds.   Existing designated areas where patients and visitors were allowed to congregate in the past, will also be eliminated. "As an employer of nearly 1,200 people and the caregiver for thousands of patients, MMMC joins other hospitals in Hawaii and across the nation in promoting a healthier environment for everyone," said MMMC Chief Executive Officer Wesley Lo in a statement today.
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Hawaii Diverts Millions In Tobacco Settlement Funds

Sun, 04/03/2012 - 7:00pm
A report due out later this week by the U.S. Surgeon General is expected to criticize states that have diverted tobacco settlement funds to balance their budgets. Although Hawaii is not expected to be among the top offenders, hundreds of millions of dollars have been used for other purposes not linked to smoking cessation programs or public awareness campaigns. "It's really shortsighted when we start using these funds just to balance the budget rather than putting them strategically into prevention programs," says Deborah Zysman, executive director for the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii, a nonprofit group that receives tobacco settlement funds for its operations. Since a master settlement was signed in 1999, Hawaii has received $536,727,359 from the tobacco industry. Of that, $71,794,848 has been set aside for the Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund, a pot of money used for anti-smoking programs and public service announcements. However the lion's share of the tobacco settlement, $464,932,511 has been diverted by state lawmakers for other purposes. . . . However in 2011, lawmakers passed a bill that diverts all $6 million that would have been deposited into the tobacco prevention fund. Instead, the money is being used to help balance the state's general fund
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Bill takes aim at smokeless products

Sat, 25/02/2012 - 7:00pm
A loophole in Hawaii's tobacco tax law makes smokeless tobacco products and "little cigars" cost-friendlier alternatives to cigarettes. As a result, increased tobacco taxes impact smoking rates but have not led to any significant decreases in the use of chewing tobacco, snuff, and tobacco sticks and pellets. A bill headed to the Senate floor could change that. State Sen. David Ige, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said on Friday that a proposal to close the loophole would raise the excise tax to a uniform 70 percent of the wholesale price of all tobacco products. This amounts to $3.20 for each pack of cigarettes. Senate Bill 2422 would also ensure that the little cigars, which are often flavored, are taxed at the same rate as the cigarettes they resemble, said Ige, D-Aiea-Pearl City. The bill would also raise the cost of "roll your own" tobacco.
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Committee votes to reverse smoking ban: By a vote of 10-1 members of the House Economic Revitalization and Business Committee approved a measure that would allow bars and nightclubs on Oahu to offer indoor smoking.

Wed, 15/02/2012 - 7:00pm
HONOLULU- After years of lobbying lawmakers at the state Capitol, opponents of Hawaii’s workforce smoking ban won a small victory Thursday. By a vote of 10-1 members of the House Economic Revitalization and Business Committee approved a measure that would allow bars and nightclubs on Oahu to offer indoor smoking. Currently, smokers have to stand at least twenty feet away from a door or window. “All we have done is just really educate the lawmakers into the truth,” said Kawika Crowley, co-chair of the Hawaii Smokers Alliance. “This is a private property rights issue. The government does not have the authority to go in and tell a small business what you can do and what you can not do.” The lone vote against the measure, HB2306, came from Rep. Barbara Marumoto of east Oahu. “All the health people are dead set against it, so I wanted to represent them,” she said. Opponents say the smoking ban is costing Hawaii businesses millions of dollars each year.
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Bill exempting bars from smoking ban advances

Wed, 15/02/2012 - 7:00pm
Oahu nightclub and bar owners might be given the choice to allow smoking in their establishments. The state House committee that heard testimony on the issue Thursday wasn't entirely convinced exempting adult-only businesses from the statewide workplace smoking ban is a good idea. But after hearing from about 100 bar owners and smokers, members advanced the measure with reservations. The bill would allow bar owners to post "smoking permitted" signs if they want their patrons and employees to be allowed to smoke indoors. The workplace smoking ban was passed in 2006 to protect employees and patrons from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. Only a handful of businesses are exempt, including designated hotel rooms, retail tobacco stores and movie sets. Most other indoor workplaces are smoke free — and smokers must move 20 feet away from buildings before lighting up. The Hawaii Bar Owners Association and Hawaii Smokers Alliance asked for an exemption in the original bill and have been lobbying fiercely to get an exemption ever since. . . . "Nevada realized this made economic sense for them," he said. "They're very concerned with their tourism, their economy, and they have now allowed bars to be exempted." Waikiki business owner Russell Yamashita said the exemption would keep people from coming out of nightclubs to smoke, then getting into trouble on the street. He also said it would stop forcing law-abiding customers into alleys and other dangerous areas to smoke. "We don't want to have nice tourists running around in the middle of the night trying to find a spot to smoke in. It endangers them," he said.
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Hawaii E-Cigarette Bill Passes Senate Committee

Sun, 12/02/2012 - 7:00pm
After much debate, an edited e-cigarette bill in Hawaii will not tax e-cigs at the 70% tobacco tax rate, but will restrict sales to minors. E-cigarette bill, SB2233, was passed by the Hawaii Senate Ways and Means Committee Friday, Feb. 10, after members voted to delete language that would require a 70% tobacco tax on the devices, according to the Hawaii Reporter. Meanwhile the main portion of the bill, restricting sales of e-cigarettes to minors, remains intact. Those opposed to requiring a 70% tax on the devices, which deliver vaporized nicotine to users, noted the devices do not contain tobacco, do not emit hazardous or noxious smoke, and could help customers break smoking habits.
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Bill Loosening State Ethics Dies; E Cigarette Regulation Bill Passes Senate After 70 Percent Tax Increase Removed

Thu, 09/02/2012 - 7:00pm
The e-cigarettes bill, SB2233, was passed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee today after members voted to delete language imposing the 70% tobacco tax on the devices. The other main portion of the bill, restricting sales of e-cigarettes to minors, remains intact. Opponents of the taxing idea said the devices, which deliver vaporized nicotine to users, do not contain tobacco, do not emit hazardous or noxious smoke, and actually help customers break smoking habits.
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E-Cigarettes Under Fire At Legislature : State Senate Ways And Means Committee Looks To Tax Electronic Cigarettes

Tue, 07/02/2012 - 7:00pm
Those who smoke them say they are a better alternative to regular cigarettes. But others say, e-cigarettes are just part of the smoking problem. A bill making its way through the legislature would treat it as such. Joey Farrington, 28, has been smoking since he was 12 years old. He says e-cigarettes have changed his life. "It's kept me off real cigarettes for about two years, and I'm so thankful for that," said Farrington. But a bill that defines electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product and taxes them the same as regular tobacco products would raise the price of e-cigarettes about 70 percent. So a $70 e-cigarette now would cost $119. That would be too expensive for Farrington. "It would make me go back to smoking real cigarettes," Farrington said.
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Electronic Cigarettes Debated At Legislature

Tue, 07/02/2012 - 7:00pm
A bill that would ban the sale of smokeless electronic cigarettes to minors and impose the 70% tobacco tax on the devices was briskly debated at the state Legislature today. All of the testimony favored a ban on sale of the products to minors but more than 1,000 individuals and companies protested imposition of the tobacco tax on “e-cigarettes”. The devices deliver vaporized nicotine mist to users but contain no tobacco and generate none of the carcinogenic smoke generated by a burning cigarette, proponents said. State Health Department Director Loretta Fuddy told members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, “There is very little known about the long term health effects of the use of e-cigarettes or the vapors given off. Recent studies have shown that within one liquid nicotine cartridge there is enough nicotine to cause serious illness or even death.” . . . Cory Smith, president of local retailer Volcano Fine Electronic Cigarettes, said the product actually helps tobacco smokers quit their habits and produces none of the second-hand smoke issues associated with traditional tobacco cigarettes. "The tohacco tax is aimed at deterring tobacco use and generating revenue to pay for health care costs associated with tobacco-related harms,” Smith said. "Since the research thus far indicates that e-cigarettes show promise as a means to deter tobacco use and thereby reduce the cost of tobacco-related harms, it makes no sense to subject e-cigarettes to the tobacco tax,” Smith said. Taxing e-cigarettes at the 70% tobacco rate would shut down his business and drive customers to the internet
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E-Cigarettes Under Fire At Legislature : State Senate Ways And Means Committee Looks To Tax Electronic Cigarettes

Tue, 07/02/2012 - 7:00pm
But others say, e-cigarettes are just part of the smoking problem. A bill making its way through the legislature would treat it as such. Joey Farrington, 28, has been smoking since he was 12 years old. He says e-cigarettes have changed his life. "It's kept me off real cigarettes for about two years, and I'm so thankful for that," said Farrington. But a bill that defines electronic cigarettes as a tobacco product and taxes them the same as regular tobacco products would raise the price of e-cigarettes about 70 percent. So a $70 e-cigarette now would cost $119. That would be too expensive for Farrington. "It would make me go back to smoking real cigarettes," Farrington said.
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Rihanna puffs on a roll-up cigarette after working out with a personal trainer during Hawaiian break

Sun, 15/01/2012 - 7:00pm
It's probably not the wisest thing to do after working up a sweat. But pop star Rihanna seemed extremely relaxed after puffing on a suspicious hand-rolled cigarette following a rigorous exercise session this weekend. The brown papered roll-up looked remarkably similar to a 'blunt', which is slang for a marijuana filled cigar. The type favoured and popularised in hip-hop music. While some people undoubtedly just smoke the cigars, Rihanna did look rather laidback as she lolled on her sunlounger. . . A blunt is a slang term for cannabis rolled with tobacco leaf typically in the form of a hollowed out cigar. It is popular with marijuana users who have taken to removing the tobacco so that the smoker can refill it with the drug.
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Two Maui Groups Get $150,000 Each for Tobacco Prevention

Tue, 20/12/2011 - 7:00pm
Two organizations in Maui County are among a list of the latest recipients to receive grant money from the Hawai'i Tobacco Prevention & Control Trust Fund. The Lanai Community Health Center and Maui Family Support Services were awarded grants of $150,000 each over two years. The funds are part of a larger, nearly $1 million in tobacco cessation community grants, awarded by the Hawai'i Community Foundation to a total of eight organizations throughout the state. In Hawai'i, tobacco use claims the lives of 1,100 residents each year and costs the state $336 million annually in direct medical expenses, according to studies referenced by the Hawai'i Community Foundation. The grants are aimed at developing and delivering cessation intervention programs specifically designed for low socioeconomic level tobacco users
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Philip Morris Can't Kill Light Cigarettes Suits At MDL Level ($$)

Mon, 12/12/2011 - 7:00pm
A Maine federal judge on Monday ruled that multidistrict litigation accusing Philip Morris USA Inc. of deceiving customers about tar and nicotine levels in its light cigarettes should come to an end, suggesting that the remaining four suits in the MDL be remanded to Ohio and other states. Philip Morris had fought the order. The tobacco company asked U.S. District Judge John Woodcock instead to deny the cases class certification by extending to them a November 2010 order in which he denied certification to four test cases in the MDL. But Judge Woodcock declined to extend his class certification order to the four remaining cases. . . . “From this court’s perspective, the light cigarettes litigation has reached the point where this court’s continued oversight of the pretrial proceedings is no longer justified," he said. "There are only four remaining cases, and in each, the plaintiffs reasonably claim that the class certification issues present case-specific questions unique to the state law of their respective jurisdictions. The court concludes that the efficiencies of consolidated handling of pretrial matters have reached the point of diminishing returns.”
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IN RE: LIGHT CIGARETTES MARKETING SALES PRACTICES LITIGATION

Sun, 11/12/2011 - 7:00pm
The Plaintiffs brought class actions on behalf of purchasers of light cigarettes manufactured by Philip Morris USA, Inc. and Altria Group, Inc. (the Defendants). On September 10, 2009, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) transferred the actions to this Court for [*4] centralization under 28 U.S.C. § 1407. MDL Transfer Order (Docket # 1). After transfer, each side agreed to submit two test cases to determine issues involving class certification. Minute Entry (Docket # 28); Status Conference Transcript at 28-42 (Docket # 29). The Plaintiffs picked California and Washington, D.C. and the Defendants Illinois and Maine. Notice/Correspondence (Docket # 47, 108). On November 24, 2010, the Court issued an Order concluding that common issues did not predominate and it denied class certification for all four classes. Order on Pls.' Mot. for Class Certification (Docket # 255). In April 2011, the Court ordered Plaintiffs to notify the Court by May 16, 2011 as to whether they intended to proceed with the pending action and whether they objected to the extension of the Court's class certification order to their case. Order (Docket # 277). A number of Plaintiffs elected to request dismissal of their claims. Report to Ct. Requesting Dismissal of Claims Without Prejudice (Docket # 280, 283, 286); Order of Dismissal (Docket # 295); Order (Docket # 305). Some Plaintiffs, however, preferred to continue with their civil actions, requested remand, and objected to the [*5] extension of the class certification order to their cases. . . . III. CONCLUSION The Court GRANTS the Plaintiffs' Notice of Intent to Proceed and Objection to Extension of Class Certification Order Dated Nov. 24, 2010 (Docket # 279); Notice [*14] of Motion for Suggestion of Remand (Docket # 282); Notice of Intent to Proceed and Objection to Extension of Class Certification Order Dated Nov. 24, 2010 (Docket # 284, 285); Plaintiff's Motion That the Court Suggest Remand (Docket # 292); Plaintiffs' Notice of Intent to Proceed and Objection to the Extension of This Court's Order on Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification to Their Case Together with Plaintiffs' Request for a Suggestion of Remand (Docket # 293). The Court DENIES the Defendants' Motion for Leave to File Surreply in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Suggestion of Remand and in Support of Extending the Court's Order Denying Class Certification (Docket # 312) and their request for oral argument (Docket # 299).
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HPD Issues First Smoking Law Citations In Years: It's Been About Five Years Since The First Person Got A Ticket For Smoking

Sat, 10/12/2011 - 7:00pm
Waikiki, Hawaii -- For the first time in more than four years, a Honolulu police officer has issued tickets to bar patrons for breaking the statewide smoking ban. The owner and employees of Kelley O'Neil's Irish pub and grill on Lewers Street in Waikiki said a police officer ticketed three of its customers for smoking in the bar on a Sunday in October, in response to another customer who called 911 to report them. The statewide law that's been in effect since November of 2006 prohibits people from smoking in restaurants, bars and other workplaces. Kelly O'Neil's and a few other bars follow the letter of the law by posting no smoking signs, but still allow their customers to smoke, in violation of the law.
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CHARLEYWORLD: Consumers To Get The Picture On The Dangers of Cigarettes (And Who Knows What Else?)

Tue, 29/11/2011 - 7:00pm
It was a drizzly morning in Honolulu’s Chinatown when I ducked into a rundown mom and pop store to pick up a pack of cancer sticks. “Marlboros,” I said to the old man behind the counter. “What kine?” he said. “Da one wit’ da black, seeping lungs or da buggah who stay smoking through da hole in his neck?” “The ‘Lites’,” I said. “The pack with the dead dude on it.” . . . I ordered a Coors – the one with the elk hunter in Colorado accidentally blowing his head off with his shotgun – and a three fingers of Maker’s Mark bourbon which came in a shot glass with a photo of a diseased liver that looked like a punctured football. I could hear the rain start again outside as we clinked our drinks together. “It’s a wonderful life!” he said. “Yeah,” I said. “Even though nobody gets outta here alive.”
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Underage Tobacco Sales Below National Average

Tue, 29/11/2011 - 7:00pm
The Hawaii State Department of Health Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division released survey results Wednesday for illegal tobacco sales to minors. It shows this year's 6.1 percent rate in Hawaii falls below the 9.3 percent federal fiscal year 2010 national weighted average.
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Hawaii Tobacco Sales to Minors Drops

Tue, 29/11/2011 - 7:00pm
Tobacco Stinks ad, courtesy State of Hawaii Department of Health. Tobacco sales to minors in Hawai‘i fell below the national average according to a survey conducted by the state. The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD) survey monitored the state compliance with regulations for the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant. Illegal tobacco sales to minors in Hawai‘i was 6.1%, below the 9.3% federal fiscal year 2010 national weighted average. The state’s first survey results in 1996 showed a noncompliance rate of 44.5%. After the implementation of law enforcement operations, the rate steadily dropped. Hawaii has managed to maintain a rate of below 10% with the exception of 2008.
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