Hawaii

Alerts & Updates

Key Contacts

Hawaii Department of Taxation
(808) 587-4242
(808) 587-1488 fax
taxpayer.services@hawaii.gov

Hawaii State Ethics Commission
(808) 587-0460

PCA Contact

Tyler Henson tyler@premiumcigars.org

Legislative Information

Taxation

Hawaii imposes a tax on every tobacco product wholesaler or dealer for the privilege of conducting business and other activities in the state. The tax is imposed on any tobacco products sold, used, or possessed by the wholesaler or dealer.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-3: Taxes


Department of Taxation staff reported that Hawaii localities do not levy additional taxes on tobacco products.

The tax on tobacco products is 70% of the wholesale price of each article or item, except that the tax on large cigars is 50% of the wholesale price of each large cigar of any length.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-3(12-13): Taxes

Every wholesaler or dealer, on or before the 20th day of each month, must file a Cigarette and Tobacco Products Monthly Tax Return (Form M-19), along with payment for taxes due. Form M-19 should be filed with the taxation district office in which the wholesaler or dealer’s principal place of business is located. If there is no such place of business in Hawaii, then Form M-19 should be filed with the Department of Taxation, P.O. Box 259, Honolulu, Hawaii 96809. This form is not available on Hawaii’s e-File website.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-5: Returns

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Hawaii Department of Taxation: Cigarette and Tobacco Tax FormsTax Forms
State of Hawaii: Business Application, Instructions, and Payment VouchersForm BB-1
Cigarette and Tobacco Products Monthly Tax ReturnForm M-19
Cigarette and Tobacco Products Monthly Tax Return – InstructionsInstructions
Cigarette Tax ReturnForm M-110
Cigarette Tax Return – InstructionsInstructions

Cigar and Smoking Tobacco Definitions

Smoke” or “smoking” means inhaling or exhaling the fumes of tobacco or any other plant material or burning or carrying any lighted smoking equipment for tobacco or any other plant material.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 328J-1

Cigar” means any roll for smoking made wholly or in part of tobacco when the cover of the roll is also tobacco. This term includes a little cigar.

Ga. Code § 48-11-1(1)

Tobacco products” means tobacco in any form, other than cigarettes or little cigars, that are prepared or intended for consumption or for personal use by humans, including large cigars and any substitutes thereof other than cigarettes that bear the semblance thereof, snuff, chewing or smokeless tobacco, and smoking or pipe tobacco.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-1

Large cigar” means any roll for smoking made wholly or in part of tobacco if such product is wrapped in any substance containing tobacco and weighs more than 4 pounds per 1,000.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-1

Dealer” means any person coming into the possession of cigarettes or tobacco products which have not been acquired from an authorized permit holder or licensee, or any person rendering a distribution service who buys and maintains, at the person’s place of business, a stock of cigarettes or tobacco products that have not been acquired from a licensee and who distributes or uses such cigarettes or tobacco products.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-1

Retailer” means an entity that engages in the practice of selling cigarettes or tobacco products to consumers and includes the owner of a cigarette or tobacco product vending machine.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-1

Wholesaler” means a person rendering a distribution service who buys and maintains, at the person’s place of business, a stock of cigarettes or tobacco products that the person uses, possesses, or distributes only to retailers, or other wholesalers, or both.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-1

Wholesale price” means in the case of a tax upon the use of tobacco products, or upon a sale not made at wholesale:

  • If made by a person who during the month preceding the accrual of the tax made substantial sales to retailers of like tobacco products, the average price of the sales, and
  • If made by any other person, the average price of sales to retailers of like tobacco products made by other taxpayers in the same county during the month preceding the accrual of the tax

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-1

Sale” includes every act of selling and includes any sale or act of selling that originates from any order that is placed or submitted by means of telephonic or other methods of voice transmission, the mail, or any other delivery service, or the Internet or other online services.“Sale” also includes any delivery of cigarettes or tobacco products, whether cash is actually paid therefore or not.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-1

Sell” means to:

  • Solicit and receive an order for;
  • Have, keep, offer, or expose for sale;
  • Deliver for value or deliver in any other way than purely gratuitously;
  • Peddle;
  • Keep with intent to sell; and
  • Traffic in.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-1

Restrictions

Hawaii law prohibits smoking in all of the following locations:

  • Enclosed or partially enclosed areas, including buildings and vehicles owned, leased, or operated by the State or any county
  • Enclosed or partially enclosed areas open to the public, including airports, public transportation facilities and vehicles such as buses and taxicabs, ticket, boarding, and waiting areas of public transit depots, aquariums, galleries, libraries, museums, restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, other common areas of businesses open to the public, bars, bowling alleys, convention facilities, educational facilities, elevators, entertainment facilities, health care facilities, hotel and motel lobbies, lanais, laundromats, meeting rooms, and banquet facilities, licensed child care and adult care facilities, common areas of multi-unit residential buildings, nightclubs, polling places, restaurants, retail stores, rooms, chamber, places of meeting or public assembly, service lines, and shopping malls
  • Enclosed or partially enclosed areas of places of employment, including auditoriums, cafeterias, classrooms, clubs, common work areas, conference rooms, elevators, employee lounges, hallways, medical facilities, meeting rooms, private offices, restrooms, and stairs
  • Sports arenas, outdoor arenas, stadiums, and amphitheaters
  • Within a presumptively reasonable minimum distance of 20 feet from entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes that serve enclosed or partially enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 328J-1: Definitions

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 328J-2: Prohibition in facilities owned by the State or the counties

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 328J-3: Prohibition in enclosed or partially enclosed places open to the public

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 328J-4: Prohibition in enclosed or partially enclosed places of employment

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 328J-5: Prohibition in sports arenas, outdoor arenas, stadiums, and amphitheaters

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 328J-6: Presumptively reasonable distance


Clearly legible signs that include the words “Smoking Prohibited by Law” with letters of not less than 1″ in height 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, shall be clearly and conspicuously posted in and at the entrance to every place open to the public and place of employment where smoking is prohibited.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 328J-9: Signs


State law does not supersede or in any manner affect a county smoking ordinance, provided that the ordinance is at least as protective of the rights of nonsmokers. State law does not prohibit a county from enacting more stringent ordinances.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 328J-15: County ordinances

The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Private residences, except when used as licensed childcare, adult daycare, or health care facility
  • Designated hotel and motel guest rooms
  • Retail tobacco stores, provided that smoke from these places does not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited
    • A “retail tobacco store” is a retail store used primarily for the sale of tobacco products and accessories.
  • Private and semiprivate rooms in nursing homes and long-term care facilities that are occupied by one or more persons, all of whom are smokers and have requested in writing to be placed in a room where smoking is permitted; provided that smoke from these places shall not infiltrate into areas where smoking is prohibited
  • Outdoor areas of places of employment, except where smoking has been specifically prohibited
  • Smoking that is part of production being filmed
  • State correctional facilities, provided that smoking is only authorized for employees and volunteers of a correctional facility in an area outside the secure confines of a correctional facility restricted from access by inmates or detainees and designated by the warden of a correctional facility

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 328J-7: Exceptions

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 328J-1: Definitions


Hawaii state law does not contain a specific procedure for retail tobacco bars to qualify for an exemption from the smoking ban. Hawaii state law also does not contain an exemption from the smoking ban for bars or restaurants. These businesses, therefore, may not allow both smoking and drinking in their establishments.

Individuals under 21 years of age cannot purchase any tobacco product. Similarly, it is illegal to sell or furnish tobacco in any shape or form, including chewing tobacco and snuff, or an electronic smoking device to a minor under 21 years of age.

Haw. Rev. Stat. §712-1258: Tobacco products and electronic smoking devices; persons under twenty-one years of age


Individuals under 21 years of age cannot purchase any tobacco product. Similarly, it is illegal to sell or furnish tobacco in any shape or form, including chewing tobacco and snuff, or an electronic smoking device to a minor under 21 years of age.

Haw. Rev. Stat. §712-1258: Tobacco products and electronic smoking devices; persons under twenty-one years of age


Department of Labor and Industrial Relations staff reported that the Hawaii statutes contain no provisions that specify the minimum age to work in tobacco retail stores and that the minimum age to work is 14.

Signs using the statement, “The sale of tobacco products or electronic smoking devices to persons under 21 is prohibited,” must be posted on or near any vending machine in letters at least one-half inch high and at or near the point of sale of any other location where tobacco products or electronic smoking devices are sold in letters at least 1/2 inch high.

Haw. Rev. Stat. §712-1258: Tobacco products and electronic smoking devices; persons under twenty-one years of age


Signs using the statement, “The sale of tobacco products or electronic smoking devices to persons under 21 is prohibited” must be posted on or near any vending machine in letters at least one-half inch high and at or near the point of sale of any other location where tobacco products or electronic smoking devices are sold in letters at least .5″ high.

Haw. Rev. Stat. §712-1258: Tobacco products and electronic smoking devices; persons under twenty-one years of age


Hawaii law contains no specific provisions concerning state preemption of local youth access laws, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances in this area.

In Hawaii, it is illegal for any person to distribute samples of tobacco products, or coupons redeemable for tobacco products, in or on any public street, sidewalk, or park, or within 1,000 feet of any elementary, middle, or intermediate, or high school. It is also illegal for any person to distribute tobacco promotional materials, or coupons redeemable for tobacco promotional materials, within 1,000 feet of any elementary, middle, or intermediate, or high school. These prohibitions do not apply:

  • Within private commercial establishments, such as stores and restaurants, where tobacco products are sold, as long as the distribution is not visible to the public from outside the establishment, or
  • To commercial establishments where access to the premises by persons under 21 years of age is prohibited by law
  • To commercial establishments where access to the premises by persons under 21 years of age is prohibited by law

Distribute” means to pass out to members of the general public free of charge for the exclusive purpose of promoting a product.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 328J-17: Distribution of sample cigarette or tobacco products, cigarette or tobacco promotional materials, and coupons redeemable for cigarette or tobacco products or promotional materials


Department of Taxation staff reported that the distribution of tobacco samples is subject to tax and licensing requirements.

Hawaii law contains no specific provision concerning state preemption of sampling, so local communities may pass more stringent laws or ordinances on tobacco sampling.

Operating Your Business

Tobacco Permit for each place of business from the Department of Taxation by filing a Basic Business Application (Form BB-1) and a license fee of $20. A retailer that owns or controls more than one place of business may submit a single application for more than one Retail Tobacco Permit. Retail Tobacco Permits expire every year on November 30th and must be renewed annually by filing the same form. Form BB-1 can be filed electronically through Hawaii Business Express.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-2.5: Retail tobacco permit


It is unlawful for any person to acquire untaxed tobacco products or otherwise engage in the business of a wholesaler or dealer in Hawaii without having first obtained a Non-Retail Tobacco License (Dealer or Wholesaler) from the Department of Taxation by filing a Basic Business Application (Form BB-1) and a license fee of $2.50. Non-Retail Tobacco Licenses expire every year on June 30th and must be renewed annually by filing the same form. Form BB-1 can be filed electronically through Hawaii Business Express.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-2: License


Every wholesaler or dealer, on or before the 20th day of each month, must file a Cigarette and Tobacco Products Monthly Tax Return (Form M-19), along with payment for taxes due. Form M-19 should be filed with the taxation district office in which the wholesaler or dealer’s principal place of business is located. If there is no such place of business in Hawaii, then Form M-19 should be filed with the Department of Taxation, P.O. Box 259, Honolulu, Hawaii 96809. This form is not available on Hawaii’s e-File website.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-5: Returns


Hawaii law does not contain an exemption from the smoking ban for bars or restaurants. These businesses, therefore, may not allow both smoking and drinking in their establishments.Localities may have additional licensing requirements.

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Hawaii Department of Taxation: Cigarette and Tobacco Tax FormsTax Forms
State of Hawaii: Business Application, Instructions, and Payment VouchersForm BB-1
Cigarette and Tobacco Products Monthly Tax ReturnForm M-19
Cigarette and Tobacco Products Monthly Tax Return – InstructionsInstructions
Cigarette Tax ReturnForm M-110
Cigarette Tax Return – InstructionsInstructions

Political Involvement

 “Lobbying” means communicating directly or through an agent, or soliciting others to communicate, with any official in the legislative or executive branch, for the purpose of attempting to influence legislative or administrative action or a ballot issue.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 97-1(7)

Lobbyist” means any individual who for pay or other consideration engages in lobbying in excess of 5 hours in any month of any reporting period or spends more than $1000 lobbying during any reporting period.

Individuals exempt from lobbyist registration requirements include:

  • Any individual who represents oneself and not any other person before the legislature or administrative agency
  • Any federal, state, or county official or employee acting in the official’s or employee’s official capacity, unless the federal, state or county official, or employee contracts for the services of a lobbyist
  • Any elected public official acting in the public official’s official capacity, unless the public official contracts for the services of a lobbyist
  • Any newspaper or other regularly published periodical or radio or television station (including any individual who owns, publishes, or is employed by a newspaper or periodical or radio or television station) while publishing in the regular course of business news items, editorials, or other comments, or paid advertisements, which directly or indirectly urge the passage or defeat of legislative or administrative action
  • Any attorney who advises the attorney’s clients on the construction or effect of proposed legislative or administrative action
  • Any person who possesses special skills and knowledge relevant to certain areas of legislation, whose skills and knowledge may be helpful to the legislative and executive branches of state government, and who makes an occasional appearance at the request of the legislature or an administrative agency, or the lobbyist even though receiving reimbursement or other payment from the legislature or administrative agency or the lobbyist for the appearance

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 97-1(6)
Haw. Rev. Stat. § 97-2(e)

An “expenditure” is a payment, distribution, forgiveness of a loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money, or anything of value and includes a contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not enforceable, to make an expenditure.  “Expenditure” also includes compensation or other consideration paid to a lobbyist for the performance of lobbying services. “Expenditure” excludes the expenses of preparing written testimony and exhibits for a hearing before the legislature or an administrative agency.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 97-1(4)

Every lobbyist must file a Lobbyist’s Registration (Form LREG) with the State Ethics Commission within 5 days of becoming a lobbyist. Lobbyist registrations must be renewed biennially by filing the same form within 10 days of the opening of every odd-numbered year’s session of the legislature.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 97-2: Registration of lobbyists, requirements

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 97-2.5: Renewal of registration


Each lobbyist, each person who spends $1000 or more in an attempt to influence legislative or administrative action or a ballot issue by communicating or urging others to communicate with public officials, and each person who employs or contracts for the services of one or more lobbyists must file either a Lobbyist’s Expenditures Statement (Form LOB) or an Organization’s and Other’s Lobbying Expenditures Statements (Form ORG) on March 31st, May 31st, and January 31st of each year and within 30 days after adjournment sine die of any special session of the legislature.

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 97-3: Contributions and expenditures; statement

Form Type / NameForm Number / Link
Hawaii State Ethics CommissionLobbying Forms
Lobbyist’s RegistrationForm LREG
Lobbyist’s Registration – InstructionsInstructions
Lobbyist’s Expenditures StatementForm LOB
Lobbyist’s Expenditures Statement – InstructionsInstructions
Organization’s and Other’s Lobbying Expenditures StatementForm ORG
Organization’s and Other’s Lobbying Expenditures Statement – InstructionsInstructions

Shipping Regulations

Hawaii does not have any specific restrictions concerning the shipping of tobacco products to consumers. However, Hawaii has specific restrictions concerning the shipping of cigarettes. 

Haw. Rev. Stat. § 245-16: Unlawful shipment of cigarettes; penalty; reports; liability for unpaid taxes


Every retailer engaged in the retail sale of other tobacco products upon which a tax is required to be paid must obtain a separate Retail Tobacco Permit for each place of business from the Department of Taxation by filing a Basic Business Application (Form BB-1) and a license fee of $20. A retailer that owns or controls more than one place of business may submit a single application for more than one Retail Tobacco Permit. Retail Tobacco Permits expire every year on November 30th and must be renewed annually by filing the same form. Form BB-1 can be filed electronically through Hawaii Business Express.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-2.5: Retail tobacco permit


Additional information about licensing in Hawaii is available under the Operating Your Business and Definitions tabs above.

Hawaii does not have any specific age verification requirements for the shipping of tobacco products to consumers. Sellers must comply with general age verification requirements.

Hawaii imposes a tax on every tobacco product wholesaler or dealer for the privilege of conducting business and other activities in the state. The tax is imposed on any tobacco products sold, used, or possessed by the wholesaler or dealer. There are no additional tax requirements on the shipment of tobacco products. All Wholesalers and Dealers must pay all applicable taxes.

Haw. Rev. Stat.§ 245-3: Taxes


Department of Taxation staff reported that Hawaii localities do not levy additional taxes on tobacco products.


Disclaimer: PCA believes the information on this site is accurate. However, tobacco laws and regulations are subject to frequent change and court interpretation. Statements above are not intended as legal advice or restatement of law. PCA does not guarantee or assume responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of this information, nor that this information complies with all federal laws or the laws of all 50 states. Parties acknowledge and agree it is not the intention of PCA to provide specific legal advice for particular individuals, but rather to provide users with general information to better understand these issues. Users shall neither construe any of these materials as legal advice nor make this site the primary basis for any legal decisions made by or on your behalf and agree to release and waive any claims against PCA for the same. You shall consult with legal advisors concerning any contemplated individual decision.