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Two New Murals Encourage Students To "Breathe Aloha"

New Murals at Ke‘elikōlani Middle School Encourage Students to ‘Breathe Aloha’

Two New Murals Encourage Students to “Breathe Aloha”

Youth e-cigarette use continues to be a widespread issue across O‘ahu. The 808NOVAPE campaign provides educational presentations on the dangers and realities of e-cigarette use in school settings. We have begun to receive more and more requests from elementary schools as they are now seeing students as young as 2nd grade using and selling these tobacco products at school. Not only do these flavored e-cigarette products attract youth to start using them at a young age, but they also make it easy for youth to use them constantly, even during school hours. There are accounts of students vaping during class and claiming the smell is their perfume or hand sanitizer, and students are often meeting up in bathrooms to share e-cigarettes during class and lunch hours. 

In speaking with students through our 808NOVAPE campaign, we hear firsthand accounts that the effects of vaping reach beyond the person using the tobacco product themselves. Young people have shared that teammates who vape can’t play their sport as well because their lung capacity is affected. We hear that students are being suspended for using vapes at school, which disrupts the learning environment. Nicotine addiction is also known to affect people’s ability to concentrate and can cause behavioral issues, which can be seen in the classroom.

One approach 808NOVAPE takes to get students thinking about their health at school is bringing the message of “Breathe Aloha” in the form of colorful, eye-catching murals. 808NOVAPE has painted these murals all across the islands at different middle school, intermediate school, and high school campuses. In April, we completed our 13th and 14th murals at Princess Ruth Ke‘elikōlani Middle School in downtown Honolulu. At the unveiling of the murals, 30 students from Ke‘elikōlani Middle School were given the chance to get involved and write their own messages about vaping. When the students walk the halls, they will be reminded by messages from their peers that vaping is more than just a “hobby” and can have long-term consequences on their health.

For more information, please contact Natalie Croul, O‘ahu Community Coordinator for the Coalition for Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i at natalie@hiphi.org.

Natalie Croul

Natalie Croul

O‘ahu Community Coordinator, Coalition for Tobacco-Free Hawai'i.
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