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Group Photo At Bill 46 Signing Ceremony. Mayor Rick Blangiardi And CM Matt Weyer In Attendance.

CTFH Youth Council Winter 2023 Updates – Policy Win on O‘ahu, Shifting Focus to Hawai‘i County

It has been a busy few months for the Coalition For a Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i Youth Council. Mayor Rick Blangiardi invited representatives of the Youth Council that submitted testimony to attend the signing of Bill 46 to end the sale of flavored tobacco products in the City and County of Honolulu on October 20th. They have been working on this for the past several months. Youth Council members Samantha, Chani, and Luke met with the Mayor and shared a few words at the signing ceremony. 

The fight now moves to the Hawai‘i County Council, where our Big Island youth are working with community partners to help pass a similar bill. Twenty-five students attended the first hearing of Bill 102 on Tuesday, December 5, with many sharing with lawmakers how flavored tobacco impacts their community. The bill passed in the Policy Committee on Health, Safety and Well-Being and first reading before the Hawai‘i County Council on December 20. The goal is to get as many of the counties as possible to pass bills to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products, one of the primary ways the industry lures keiki into a lifetime of addiction. This will show that the counties have taken action and will encourage the State Legislature to either do the same or at least restore the authority of the counties to regulate tobacco sales, which was taken away in 2018. These new laws can only take effect if the State restores this authority to the counties. 

Youth Council members Samantha and Luke met with Senator Brandon Elefante to discuss SB 1447, a bill he introduced that would have restored the counties’ authority to regulate tobacco sales. This is an issue that the Youth Council will focus on in the 2024 legislative session. 

In addition, the youth held their annual Awareness Building Workshop on November 18. Students across the state spent the morning at Chambers Escape Games, learning the importance of teamwork and communication. Following their escape, the students put these skills to use, brainstorming ideas on how they want to raise awareness of their policy priorities and forming youth-led workgroups to turn these ideas into action. The day’s highlights included the small breakout sessions and island-specific discussions, with many participants expressing that their favorite part of the day was the chance to collaborate with like-minded students from different schools and islands.

We hope to share some of the projects they develop in future newsletters. Follow the Youth Council on Instagram @hiphiyc to keep current on their activities.

Group Photo Of 25 Youth Advocates At The Hawai‘i County Council Bill 102 Hearing.
Group Photo Of 25 Youth Advocates At The Hawai‘i County Council Bill 102 Hearing.
Group Photo Of 25 Youth Advocates At The Hawai‘i County Council Bill 102 Hearing.
Scott Stensrud, MA

Scott Stensrud, MA

Statewide Youth Coordinator
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