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A proud history of accomplishment

HIPHI began in 1996, then known as the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaiʻi (CTFH). At that time, the Coalition spearheaded the campaign to make all workplaces, restaurants, and bars smoke-free, resulting in county and statewide smoke-free indoor air laws. 

In 2012, the organization moved from a singular focus on tobacco issues to a broader public health mission to advance the health and wellness of people and islands of Hawaiʻi and launched the Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute.

Since 2012, HIPHI has broadened its portfolio of advocacy initiatives, programs and services, and we have made steady progress toward realizing the full potential of our organization. In 2020 HIPHI pivoted to assist in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in numerous ways.

Moving forward, with continued effort and purpose, HIPHI has the opportunity to play a unique role in Hawaii’s public health ecosystem because of our broad focus, relationships with and role as convener of many different types of stakeholders, ability to implement policy/advocacy campaigns, and capacity to provide services.

HIPHI is always working to be a connector between community and partners from government and health care so that all relevant stakeholders throughout the state are involved in decisions related to public health policy, programs, and investments. We believe we can play a significant role in the shift of public health from being primarily about treating disease to the promotion of preventing it. 

Learn more about our history by reading our summary timeline or downloading our full organizational and policy timelines below!

December 6, 2021


  • The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaiʻi (CTFH) is born: an informal group of stakeholders seeking to lift the burden of tobacco-related health concerns from Hawaii’s people.
  • Tobacco-Free Maui coalition forms.
December 6, 2021


  • Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i receives grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation under the fiscal umbrella of American Cancer Society.
  • First Executive Director of CTFH hired.
  • Hawaiʻi institutes a $1-a-pack cigarette tax; the first state in the nation.
December 6, 2021


  • Tobacco-Free Kauaʻi coalition forms.
  • The Master Settlement Agreement is reached, with the four largest cigarette manufacturers ordered to pay 46 states including Hawaiʻi in perpetuity, due to the harms and health costs caused by their products.
December 6, 2021


  • Tobacco-Free Big Island coalition forms.
  • Hawaiʻi creates the Tobacco Prevention & Control Trust Fund using Master Settlement Agreement funds. To this day, it continues to provide long-term, sustainable funding for Hawaii’s tobacco prevention and cessation efforts.
December 6, 2021


Maui County passes law for smoke-free restaurants and bars.

December 6, 2021


  • City & County of Honolulu passes law for smoke-free restaurants and bars.
  • Kauaʻi County passes law for smoke-free restaurants, bars, and most public indoor spaces.
December 6, 2021


Hawaiʻi County passes law for smoke-free restaurants, bars, and workplaces.

December 6, 2021


Hawaiʻi passes Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law.

December 6, 2021


  • CTFH becomes a 501(c)3 nonprofit.
  • Hawaiʻi County implements a 0.5% transportation surcharge increase to fund transportation projects.
December 6, 2021


Hawaiʻi County passes law for smoke-free beaches, parks, and recreational facilities (on Earth Day).

December 6, 2021


  • CTFH hires six coalition coordinators (East Hawaiʻi, West Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi, Maui, Molokai, and Oʻahu).
  • CTFH provides fiscal management for REAL Youth Advocacy program.
  • Hawaiʻi County passes law for smoke-free vehicles in the presence of minors.
December 6, 2021


  • CTFH awarded a grant from the National Network for Public Health Institutes to explore becoming a Public Health Institute.
  • Board of Directors votes to expand mission beyond tobacco (initial name: Healthy Communities Hawaiʻi).
  • Kauaʻi County passes resolution requesting park users refrain from smoking when other park patrons are in close proximity.
  • Maui Memorial Hospital goes tobacco-free.
  • Maui County adopts Complete Streets resolution that reasonably accommodates convenient access and mobility for all users of the public highways.
December 6, 2021


  • Named Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute, becoming provisional member of the National Network for Public Health Institutes.
  • HIPHI receives first grant from Kaiser Permanente to launch the institute.
  • Hawaiʻi County raises the age of sale for all tobacco products, including electronic smoking devices, to 21 years, becoming the fourth county in the country to do so.
December 6, 2021


  • HIPHI launches Perspectives on Community Health Initiative.
  • HIPHI begins chronic disease prevention work with Hawaiʻi State Department of Health.
  • HIPHI receives Voices for Healthy Kids funding for a sugar-sweetened beverage fee campaign.
  • Maui County passes laws for smoke-free beaches and parks (on Earth Day).
  • Hawaiʻi County adds use of Electronic Smoking Devices to smoke-free air law.
  • Hawaiʻi passes smoke-free public housing law.
December 6, 2021


  • HIPHI Become a recognized full member of the National Network of Public Health Institutes.
  • HIPHI/CTFH lead effort resulting in raising the age of sale for all tobacco products (including electronic smoking devices) to 21, making Hawaiʻi the first state in the nation.
  • Hawaiʻi adds use of Electronic Smoking Devices to smoke-free air law.
  • Hawaiʻs passes law for smoke-free parks.
  • Maui County passes law for smoke-free bus stops.
December 6, 2021


  • Healthy Eating + Acting Living (HEAL) coalitions launched.
  • Obesity Prevention Task Force convened by HIPHI.
  • CTFH celebrates 20th anniversary.
  • CTFH Youth Council launched.
  • HIPHI partners with Hawaiʻi State Department of Health to implement Choose Healthy Now Initiative.
  • CTFH/HIPHI runs first counter-marketing campaign. Anti-Electronic Smoking Device radio ads begin running.
  • HIPHI and partners go on the road to talk story about health with the Pilinaha Statewide Forums.
  • Age 21 law goes into effect January 1.
  • Kauaʻi County passes law for smoke-free vehicles.
  • Lydgate Park on Kauaʻi goes smoke-free.
  • Obesity Prevention Task Force leads effort resulting in passing of physical examination requirement for seventh graders.
  • Hawaiʻi hospitals and hospital grounds go tobacco-free.
December 6, 2021


  • Farm to School Hui joins HIPHI.
  • 808NoVape project initiated.
  • First Legislative Recap is produced and provided to lawmakers, partners, and coalition members.
  • KTA Superstores becomes first Choose Healthy Now grocery store; 7-Eleven also joins the program.
  • HIPHI Executive DirectorJessica Yamauchi  joins National Network for Public Health Institutes’ Board of Directors.
  • HIPHI partners with Hawaiʻi State Department of Health on Hawaiʻi Primary Care Association’s Hoʻola Conference.
  • HIPHI and Hawaiʻi State Department of Health host first CHW Conference in Hawaiʻi.
  • HIPHI provides fiscal management support to Pacific Birth Collective.
  • City & County of Honolulu turns Smoke-Free Vehicle ordinance into law.
December 6, 2021


  • Maui Coalition for Drug-Free Youth joins HIPHI.
  • Maui Food Access work begins.
  • Public Health Training Hui moves under HIPHI’s umbrella.
  • HIPHI holds first neighbor island board and staff retreat at Kilauea Military Camp.
  • CTFH Youth Council advocates for tobacco-free zones and wins awards.
  • HIPHI hosts first annual summer social.
  • HIPHI hosts Electronic Smoking Devices Conference, Healthy Beverage Summit,  and Community Health Worker strategic planning session and regional meetings (in partnership with Hawaiʻi State Department of Health).
  • HIPHI launches 808NoVape counter-marketing ads.
  • Maui County prohibits smoking in vehicles when a minor is present.
  • Poipu Beach Park on Kauaʻi goes smoke-free.
  • Hawaiʻi passes law for smoke-free state university and college campuses.
December 6, 2021


  • Hawaiʻi Oral Health Coalition convened by HIPHI.
  • HIPHI co-hosts the 14th Annual National Conference for Immunization Coalitions and Partnerships and Pūpūkahi I Holomua: For and About Community Health Workers.
  • HIPHI Executive Director begins two-year term as Chair for National Network for Public Health Institutes’ Board of Directors.
  • Maui Nui Food Alliance established to support and promote a healthy food system for our future, while honoring the Native Hawaiian traditions of Maui Nui’s past.
  • Hawaiʻi County passes a Vision Zero Strategic Plan Resolution.
December 6, 2021


  • First neighbor island office opens on Maui.
  • Kūpuna Food Security Coalition is born.
  • HIPHI distributes $3M in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding to kūpuna for meals and wrap-around social services.
  • HIPHI and partners galvanize for COVID-19 response: providing weekly webinars, emails, and resources.
  • Food Systems & Resiliency program born.
  • Hawaiʻi Farm to School Hui receives $224,840 United States Department of Agriculture funding.
December 6, 2021


  • HIPHI internship program expands, with 74 applications received, and 39 interns and  volunteers hosted. Approximately 77% were undergraduate students and 23% graduate students.
  • Maui County enacts Social Host Ordinance, holding the host of a gathering accountable for illegal underage drinking occurring at their homes/properties.
  • Maui County passes Vision Zero Maui Action Plan to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2040.
January 17, 2023


  • The Hawai‘i Oral Health Coalition successfully advocated to restore preventative dental coverage for adults on Medicaid, helping to support the oral health of nearly 266,000 people. HIPHI also supported efforts to raise the minimum wage, which will be increased to $18 per hour by 2028.
  • Sponsored 18 trainings with an average of over 200 participants to advance mental health awareness and access, intimate partner violence prevention, and reducing body stigma in the workplace.
  • Distributed 27,000 COVID-19 self-test kits to community based organizations who serve diverse communities statewide. Supported 253 community outreach events statewide, including 134 events offering free vaccines. Disseminated over 21,000 education materials to support keiki health statewide.
  • Supported nine food security projects to provide meals & wraparound health and social services for thousands of low-income kūpuna.
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