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Group Picture From Coalition For A Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i Island's Planning Meeting.

Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i Island Road Map for 2024

The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i Island held its annual strategic planning meeting on October 30, 2023, at the Hawai‘i Island Community Health Center in Kailua Kona to establish its goals and priorities for 2024.

As a coalition, we plan to increase tobacco, nicotine, and vaping prevention education and treatment resources in Hawai‘i County to support youth and community education, prevention, and cessation. To achieve this goal, we will continue to present at schools island-wide with the assistance of our local Youth Electronic Smoking Device Prevention Grantees and coalition partners. We look forward to creating an Educational Material Campaign that will include more educational brochures and possibly collaborating with ‘Ōlelo Community Media to produce a PSA.

We are also building Youth Council membership by engaging with youth and youth-serving organizations, schools, and community organizations. Hawai‘i Island has been blessed to have many youth advocates join this movement. The Hawai‘i Island Youth Academy has 40 enrolled members actively participating in many community events, activities, and school presentations. In November, Hawai‘i Island Youth Academy was presented with the “Outstanding Community Partner Award” at the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i’s Annual Stakeholders Meeting. Our youth council continues to work hard to achieve a better future for the next generation.

Group photo of 25 youth advocates at the Hawai‘i County Council Bill 102 hearing.

Recently, with the news of Hawai‘i County considering Bill 102 to end the sale of flavored tobacco products, we have been meeting with our County Councilmembers to gain their support. Hawai‘i County Councilmember Susan Lee Loy introduced the bill on Tuesday, December 5, to the Policy Committee of Health, Safety and Well-Being. The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i Island and Hawai‘i Island Youth Academy presented the importance of this measure and the harms of flavored tobacco products. Hawai‘i Island Youth Academy students expressed how flavored tobacco products have impacted their families and friends. Thanks to the testimony of the youth and community, we are proud to share that Bill 102 has passed the committee. We encourage community testimony submissions and community members to attend the hearings.

To get involved or for more information on the efforts of Tobacco Free Hawai‘i Island, please get in touch with Kealoha Madriaga, West Hawai‘i Tobacco and HEAL Coalition Coordinator, at kealoha@hiphi.org or Jay Ihara, East Hawai‘i Tobacco-Free Coordinator, at jay@hiphi.org.

Kealoha Madriaga

Kealoha Madriaga

West Hawai‘i Tobacco and HEAL Coalition Coordinator
Jay Ihara

Jay Ihara

East Hawai‘i Tobacco-Free Coordinator
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