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RATIONALE:

We are still in the midst of a youth vaping epidemic. In Hawai‘i, 14.8% of high school students and 6.7% of middle school students still 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.

2024 Bills:

HB1778, HB2441, SB2691, SB3130

Display with inflatable candy in front of State Capitol
Flavors Hooks Kids Hawaiʻi display at the State Capitol

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.

Hearing Information

Bill: HB1778
Position: Strong Support
Date/Time: Friday, February 2, 2024 at 8:30 AM
Committee: House Committee on Health & Homelessness

Hearing Notice

How to Submit Testimony

  1. Log-in /make an account on the Capitol website.
  2. Go to the bill page for HB1778 and click on the “Submit Testimony” button.
  3. Upload or write your testimony in SUPPORT of the bill (It doesn’t need to be long!).
  4. Please submit testimony by Thursday, February 1, at 8:30 AM (at least 24 hours in before the hearing) to ensure your testimony is received on-time and reviewed by the committee members!

TALKING POINTS:

  • 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).1 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, 70.5% of Hawaiʻi adult smokers use menthol cigarettes (Hawai‘i BRFSS, 2021).2
  • Native Hawaiian youth in high school have the highest rates of e-cigarette use (33.3%), followed by other Pacific Islanders (27.9%).3

References:

  1. CDC. “National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).” Smoking and Tobacco Use, 2019, www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/surveys/nyts/index.htm.
  2. “Hawaiʻi IBIS – Query Result – Hawaii’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Data – Cigarettes – Usually Smoke Menthol.” Hhdw.org, 2021, hhdw.org/report/query/result/brfss/SmokeMenthol/SmokeMentholCrude11_.html. Accessed 26 Jan. 2024.
  3. “Hawaiʻi IBIS – Summary Health Indicator Report – E-Cigarettes – Current Smoking, High School.” Hhdw.org, 30 Mar. 2023, hhdw.org/report/indicator/summary/VaporCurr_HS.html. Accessed 26 Jan. 2024.
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