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HPU’s public health program hosted a highly successful “Take Down Tobacco Day” community engagement event on March 21, 2024, at Aloha Tower Marketplace where public health students and HPU Public Health Lecturer Heather Medicine Bear, MPH, engaged in the initiative to help “take action against Big Tobacco.”

The event was in collaboration with the Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute, the Hawaiʻi Tobacco Youth Coalition and the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. HPU hosted the event and students from public health and the Public Health Student Association participated in the event alongside youth from across the state.

Take Down Tobacco Day is a national day of action focused on educating youth about the vaping epidemic and the harms of tobacco use through workshops, presentations, and advocating for policy change. Students had the opportunity to join youths on their march to the Hawaiʻi State Capitol and speak to legislators about policy priorities.

According to the Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute, tobacco consumption stands as the primary contributor to preventable fatalities, claiming the lives of 1,400 individuals annually in Hawai‘i due to tobacco-related ailments. In efforts to increase awareness, young advocates have been refreshing banners positioned in front of the State Capitol and across the state to accurately depict the ongoing toll of these deaths.

Gregory Fischbach/The Ohana HPU’s Daily News

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