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The new generation of nicotine addicts

Ask a teenager or middle school student if they vape and there is a good chance the answer is yes. In 2017, 1 in 4 (25.5 percent) public high school and 1 in 6 (15.7 percent) public middle school students reported currently using electronic smoking devices (ESD)1, also known as vapes or e-cigarettes. Use is even higher at the county level with Hawai‘i and Maui county public high school students reporting in 2017 current ESD use above 30 percent.1

Vaping among our keiki is rising at an alarming rate, increasingly putting Hawai‘i youth at risk of becoming addicted to nicotine.

E-cigarettes are a variety of devices that create an aerosol by using a battery to heat liquid containing nicotine, flavoring and other additives such as nickel, copper, formaldehyde, rocket fuel and lead. While these chemicals are known to cause severe health problems, the most troubling fact is that consumers don’t know the long-term effect of using electronic smoking devices. A recent report on the public health consequence of e-cigarettes suggests that, due to the variety of e-cigarette devices available, consumers can’t determine differences between products and their relative harms.3

Despite the laws and regulations already in place, a whopping 94 percent of young adults and children have successfully purchased e-cigarettes online.4 Tobacco companies are forever searching for the next “replacement smoker,” and vapes are the mechanism of nicotine addiction for the next generation.

What makes these e-cigs so addicting and appealing to youth? Use of e-cigs by friends and family, availability of flavors, and the belief that e-cigarettes are less harmful than other forms of tobacco, such as cigarettes.2 In fact, 60 percent of Hawai‘i teens believe that occasional use of an e-cigarette does little to no harm to their health.3

As vaping gains popularity among high school students in Hawai‘i, the use of combustible or traditional cigarettes has declined, yet both groups suffer with nicotine addiction. We can’t stand by and watch as electronic smoking devices create a new generation of nicotine addicts.

The Hawai‘i Tobacco Quitline Youth Program is an evidence-based telephone counseling program that is designed to help teens ages 13-17 quit smoking and vaping permanently. The program utilizes experienced tobacco cessation specialists (Youth Program Quitline Coaches) to make proactive outbound calls to provide counseling, support and plans to aid the process of becoming nicotine free. Program participants also receive age‐appropriate educational materials and, for questions and additional support, have unlimited access to the toll‐free support line. A web-only Youth Program is also available.

For help in quitting tobacco use or vaping and nicotine addiction in youth visit

To learn more about the dangers of vaping visit


1 Hawai‘i State Department of Health, Hawai‘i School Health Survey: Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), 1997-2017

2 Hawaii State Department of Health. Tobacco control Strategic Plan 2016-2020. Honolulu, HI; Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division, Tobacco Prevention and Education Program. 2016



“Big Tobacco” Targets LGBTQA Community

Who targeted the LGBT community with “Project SCUM”? If you guessed “Big Tobacco,” then sadly, you are correct.

October 11 is the start of PRIDE week — the perfect time to empower yourself with the facts about tobacco and the LGBTQA community — the perfect time to stand up against Big Tobacco’s targeting, exploitation and undermining tactics to profit by endangering the health and well-being of this strong group.

Did you know that individuals in the LGBTQA community are more than twice as likelyto smoke as their heterosexual/straight counterparts? Big Tobacco knows this, and works every day to make sure this dangerous trend continues.

It all started with “Project SCUM (Sub-Culture Urban Marketing),” a marketing plan created by one of the largest tobacco companies, targeting the LGBTQA community and homeless people to boost its sales. Based on its own records, the tobacco industry has been targeting the LGBT community for decades in subtle and overt ways. For example, “in 1991, a Wall Street Journal headline trumpeted, ‘overcoming a deep-rooted reluctance, more firms advertise to [the] gay community.’ The story called gays and lesbians “a dream market” and focused on the tobacco industry’s courtship of LGBT media giants such as Genre.” 1

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Hawai‘i Residents Are Having a Change of Heart

As World Heart Day draws near, it’s time to recognize the many things Hawai‘i residents are doing in their lives to change their heart health! From eating more seafood rich in the Omega-3s (great for your heart!), to staying active (surfing, hiking, walking, jogging, etc.), to quitting smoking or vaping, Hawai‘i residents have many opportunities to take action and improve their heart health.

On Friday, September 29th, 2017 we will all celebrate “World Heart Day” with the theme “Share the Power.” It’s a day when people across the state and around the world acknowledge and embrace this mantra:

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What overlooked habit could be taking years off the lives of keiki here in Hawai‘i?

Here on the islands, we protect our ‘ohana, especially when it comes to caring for our keiki. In the car, for example, we make sure they have the proper car and booster seats, and we ensure they’re buckled up – because this helps protect them.

Still, for Hawai‘i parents with friends and family members who smoke, there is another danger that’s often overlooked – smoking in the car. Secondhand smoke exposure contributes to more than

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Top five tobacco threats Hawai‘i residents don’t know

With “World No Tobacco Day” coming up on Wed., May 31st, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s going on with the tobacco industry in Hawai‘i and around the world. The theme this year is:

“Tobacco – a Threat to Development.”

Tobacco isn’t just a danger to those who smoke or vape. It remains a vicious societal issue – a worldwide menace of epic proportions – perpetuating death, disease, poverty, pollution, deforestation and more.

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A Focus on Smoking Habits of Hawaii’s Filipinos

In the United States, cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death, but surprisingly, it is a health issue that continues to affect ethnic minorities at a disproportionate rate, including Filipinos.

Whether we look at smoking habits of Filipinos in Hawai‘i, on the mainland, or in the Philippines, it is clear that the impact of tobacco use among Filipinos has broad cultural reaches.

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New Strategies Proposed to Help Native Hawaiian Communities Become Smoke-Free

Over the past decades, tobacco prevention and control efforts in Hawai‘i have contributed to a significant decrease in residents who smoke. While Hawai‘i has the eighth lowest adult smoking rate in the nation, these improvements have not translated equally across all communities. A 2014 study conducted by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) found the smoking prevalence among Native Hawaiians is almost double the state smoking rate. In response, the DOH, Hawai‘i Tobacco Prevention and Control Advisory Board, Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i, and other community stakeholders selected Native Hawaiians as one of its priorities in the new Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Five-Year Strategic Plan.

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