We are in the midst of a youth vaping epidemic. In Hawai‘i, one in three high school students and one in five middle school students report “current use” of e-cigarettes.
With 8 in 10 kids starting with a flavored tobacco product, a major way to address young people’s use of tobacco products, including e‑cigarettes, is to prohibit the sale of flavors that attract youth in the first place and discourage them from trying these products. This legislation will remove the thousands of fruit and candy‑flavored tobacco products, as well as menthol cigarettes, that are addicting our keiki.
TAKE ACTION NOW:
Public hearings are an opportunity for the public to weigh in on bills being considered by lawmakers. Submitting testimony for these hearings is an important way to let lawmakers know your position on these important issues. All you need to do is share why you are in strong support (we have some talking points below to get you started!). Each hearing may have different lawmakers, so you must submit testimony each time there is a new hearing.
How to Submit Testimony
- Visit https://hnldoc.ehawaii.gov/hnldoc/measure/browse/2648.
- Click on the Submit Testimony for Sept 13, 2023 @ 2:30 PM Meeting.
- Fill out the form with your information and select the option of how you wish to provide your testimony: a) Written Testimony or b) Written and Oral Testimony.
- For written testimony, address your testimony to Chair Weyer and Members of the Housing, Sustainability, and Health Committee (HSH). Type in your written testimony or attach it as .doc or .pdf.
Review for accuracy, then click Submit.
Please submit testimony by 12:00 PM on Wednesday, September 13, to ensure your testimony is received on-time and reviewed by the committee members!
- Flavors in tobacco products entice youth, while the nicotine keeps them hooked for life. In 2020, 8 in 10 youth who currently use e-cigarettes reported using a flavored product, up from 7 in 10 in 2019 (National Youth Tobacco Survey). Ending the sale of flavored tobacco products will reduce the appeal of these products and protect our keiki from a lifetime of addiction.
- Menthol is just as, if not more, harmful than any other flavor in tobacco. Notorious for its ability to mask the harshness of tobacco, menthol makes it easier to start and harder to quit. If our aim is to protect our keiki and reduce the burden of tobacco in our communities, we must include menthol.
- Ending the sale of all flavored tobacco will advance health equity – disparities in tobacco use are due to the tobacco industry’s history of marketing menthol cigarettes to youth and people of color. In Hawai‘i, 78% of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander smokers use menthol cigarettes (Hawai‘i BRFSS, 2008). Mint and menthol-flavored e-cigarettes are one of the most popular flavors among youth.
- Flavored products are driving this epidemic, where 85% of youth e-cigarette users use flavored products.
- Big Tobacco knows that in order to have customers for life, they need to addict kids to nicotine when they are young.
- Flavors must include menthol because it is just as, if not more, harmful than any other flavor in tobacco. Notorious for its ability to mask the harshness of tobacco, menthol makes it easier to start and harder to quit. If our aim is to protect our keiki and reduce the burden of tobacco in our communities, we must include menthol.
- At the local level, over 360 localities restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products.