Lawmakers in Hawaii last week passed a “tax parity” law that applies the tax rate for traditional tobacco products to vaping products. If signed into law by Governor Josh Green, vaping products would be subject to a 70 percent wholesale tax—one of the highest rates in the country.
The bill, SB975 SD2 HD3, defines vaping products as “tobacco products,” and was negotiated in a marathon conference session between the State House and Senate just before the deadline for this year’s legislative session. The legislative session adjourns on May 4.
It isn’t certain the exact date the bill will be sent to Green, or if he intends to sign it into law. If signed, the tax will take effect Jan. 1, 2024. Currently, Hawaii has no tax on vaping products.
Right now, e-cigarettes only have the general excise tax (GET) of between 4.1 percent and 4.7 percent attached to them. Combustible cigarettes sold in Hawaii carry other taxes.