With vaping growing increasingly popular, especially among youth, many are curious about the legal status of electronic cigarettes and vaping products in Hawaii. As one of the first states to raise the minimum vaping age to 21, Hawaii’s laws provide a blueprint that paved the way for national Tobacco 21 legislation.
Can you vape in Hawaii? Yes, you can vape in Hawaii if you are 21 years or older. However, vaping is prohibited in enclosed public spaces such as restaurants, bars, retail stores, and workplaces under the Clean Indoor Air Act. It’s also banned in state parks, historic sites, trails and harbor areas. Individual establishments may have their own restrictions on vaping.
This article examines Hawaii’s vaping regulations to help readers understand exactly where and how vaping is permitted, including age limits, public vaping bans, retailer policies, online sales rules, potential penalties, and how Hawaii compares to other states. Also covered are recent vaping trends in Hawaii, predictions for future legislation, and common FAQs on traveling with vapes and where they can be used.
With vaping’s legal standing still tenuous in many areas, this guide aims to provide vapers and non-vapers alike with authoritative information on use and access. Key topics include vaping’s definition, allowances in hotels and resorts, possession protocols, age verification stipulations, indoor Clean Air Act provisions, vaping fines and citations, carrying vapes on flights, and usage in parks and on beaches. Whether a Hawaii resident looking for legal parameters or visitor exploring vaping allowances, this resource offers a detailed overview of vaping laws in Hawaii.
Is Vaping Legal in Hawaii?
Yes, vaping is legal for adults age 21 and over in Hawaii. However, there are laws restricting where vaping is allowed, as well as an age limit banning vape sales and use for those under 21.
Hawaii was one of the first states to increase the minimum vaping age to 21 back in 2015. This helped set the stage for federal Tobacco 21 laws passed in 2019, which raised the minimum age to 21 nationwide.
While legally allowed, vaping is regulated under Hawaii state law and there are penalties for violating rules on age limits and vaping in prohibited public spaces.
What Are the Age Restrictions for Vaping in Hawaii?
Hawaii state law prohibits the sale or furnishing of any tobacco products, including vapes and e-cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21.1
It is also illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase or possess vaping products in Hawaii. The minimum age applies to all electronic smoking devices, whether they contain nicotine or not.2
Can I Vape If I’m 18 In Hawaii?
No, you must be 21 or older to legally purchase or use any vaping products in Hawaii, even if you are 18 or older. Providing vapes to minors under 21 is also prohibited.
Hawaii increased the vaping and tobacco age to 21 back in January 2016. This helped pave the way for federal Tobacco 21 legislation that went into effect in late 2019, establishing 21 as the national minimum age.
Some key points on Hawaii’s age limit for vapes:
- It covers all electronic smoking devices, with or without nicotine.
- Online sales to those under 21 are banned, requiring age verification.
- Those who provide vaping products to minors can face fines and penalties.
Where Can You Vape in Hawaii?
While legally permitted in private for those 21 and over, Hawaii does prohibit vaping in many public spaces. Here is an overview of vaping rules in different locations:
1. Public Places
Hawaii’s Clean Indoor Air Act bans smoking, including vaping and use of electronic smoking devices, in enclosed or partially enclosed areas open to the public.3 This covers:
- Restaurants, bars and nightclubs
- Retail stores and shopping malls
- Public transportation like buses
- Workplaces and many other public spaces
Fines can be imposed for vaping in prohibited public indoor areas. Some counties also ban vaping outdoors near public buildings.
2. Private Establishments
Private businesses and venues can implement their own rules on vaping. However, they cannot permit vaping in areas where state law prohibits smoking.
Bars, restaurants, hotels and other establishments may choose to ban vaping on their premises. Vaping policies may vary, so check ahead to see if any restrictions apply.
3. Beaches and Parks
Vaping is banned in Hawaii’s state parks, historic sites, trail and harbor areas.7 Smoking of any kind, including vapes, is illegal in these public outdoor recreational spaces.
Individual counties and cities may also prohibit vaping on public beaches and in local parks. Always check for posted signs indicating vaping bans or restrictions.
4. Hotels and Resorts
Many hotels and resorts in Hawaii implement their own restrictions on vaping, even in designated smoking rooms or balconies.
Some prohibit vaping entirely on hotel grounds, both indoors and outdoors. Be sure to ask about vaping policies when booking accommodations.
Can You Buy Vapes in Hawaii?
Yes, vape shops and other retailers in Hawaii can legally sell vaping products to customers age 21 and older.
Sales of vapes and e-cigarettes must comply with both state and federal age limits, bans on flavored cartridges, and other applicable laws.
Can You Buy Vape Products Online in Hawaii?
No, online and delivery sales of vapes are effectively banned in Hawaii. State law requires age verification through a face-to-face sale for all vape purchases.6
Out-of-state online vendors cannot ship vape products directly to consumers in Hawaii due to the in-person age check requirement. This also applies to flavored vape juice, devices and accessories.
Instead, Hawaiian vapers must purchase any vaping products at local brick-and-mortar shops where legal age can be confirmed. This allows enforcement of 21+ vape sales laws.
Can I Bring My Vape to Hawaii?
There are no laws prohibiting adults over 21 from bringing personal vaping devices and accessories into Hawaii for personal use.
However, vapers should adhere to Hawaii’s laws when vaping in public places, resorts, parks and other areas where use may be prohibited.
Purchasing vape juice locally is recommended, as importing excessive quantities of untaxed vape liquid may be restricted. Always store vaping devices and liquids securely in carry-on luggage, not checked bags, when traveling by air.
What Are the Penalties for Breaking Vaping Laws in Hawaii?
Hawaii enforces its vaping and tobacco laws through fines and citations. Penalties may include:
- Up to a $500 fine for vaping in prohibited public indoor places.8
- Up to a $500 fine for purchasing or possessing a vape product if under 21.9
- Up to a $2,000 fine for selling or furnishing vapes to anyone under 21.10
- Up to a $100 fine for vaping in a state park or nature preserve.7
Businesses violating vaping laws face suspension or revocation of their tobacco retail permit. Repeat violations can result in permanent prohibition on tobacco/vape sales.
How Does Hawaii Compare to Other States Regarding Vaping Laws?
Hawaii is seen as having relatively strict vaping laws compared to some other states:
- Hawaii raised the minimum age for vapes to 21 back in 2016, earlier than many other states.
- Public vaping is banned in workplaces, restaurants and most indoor areas. Several counties also prohibit it near public buildings.
- Hawaii was one of the first to effectively ban online sales by requiring in-person age verification.
- All public parks, beaches and nature preserves prohibit vaping for all ages.
However, Hawaii does not tax or impose special fees on vape products beyond the standard sales tax. And public outdoor vaping is still permitted outside restricted areas.
Are There Any Changes Expected in the Future for Vaping Laws in Hawaii?
It’s possible Hawaii may implement additional vaping regulations in the future, such as:
- Further expanding smoke-free and vape-free areas, including more outdoor locations near public spaces.
- Increasing fines and penalties for underage vape sales and use.
- Requiring licensing for retail vape shops.
- Imposing new excise taxes or fees on e-cigarettes and vaping products.
However, there are currently no major vaping law changes proposed or pending in the Hawaii state legislature. Hawaii may continue leading the way with strict youth access limits and public vaping bans.
FAQ About Vaping in Hawaii
Can You Fly Out of Hawaii With Vape Cartridges?
Vape cartridges are allowed in carry-on bags on flights departing Hawaii, subject to TSA rules. Make sure all batteries are removed and stored properly. Check policies of destination airport as mainland rules may vary.
Can You Vape Under 21 on Private Property in Hawaii?
No, Hawaii’s age 21 limit applies for all vaping, even on private property. Those under 21 cannot legally possess or use vapes anywhere in the state.
What Percent of People in Hawaii Use Vapes?
According to CDC survey data, around 5% of Hawaii adults currently use e-cigarettes or vapes. Use rates among Hawaii high school students are around 15%.11
Where Can You Vape in Public in Hawaii?
Public vaping is permitted mainly in outdoor public spaces like sidewalks and parks where not specifically prohibited. However, vaping is banned in nearly all enclosed public indoor areas including bars, restaurants, stores, buses and workplaces. Check for county and city rules on outdoor public vaping near buildings.
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