Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Skip to content
Section Navigation

Tobacco-Free Kaua‘i is finally back in the classrooms

With Hawaii’s current state percentages on youth vaping higher when compared to high school cigarette-use recorded in the early 2000’s, it’s imperative to provide tobacco prevention education, including electronic smoking devices (ESD), to our youth.

Through a grant from the Wilcox Foundation, Tobacco-Free Kaua‘i (TFK) was able to assist in continuing Breathe Akamai, Kaua‘i’s anti-vaping campaign. The Breathe Akamai campaign creates awareness for Kaua‘i’s youth on the dangers of tobacco use and vaping.

In collaboration with Kaua‘i District Youth Council (KDSC),  a school club that includes student council representatives from all three public high schools, youth designed and created the graphics and messaging for this project. The students worked to create a simple catchphrase or slogan to promote anti-vaping, without using the word “vape”.  In the Hawaiian language, the word “akamai” translates to  “smart” in English. The students wanted to spread awareness and encourage people to “breathe smart, without the use of any smart devices such as ESD/vapes,” because use of those devices are not akamai.

The Breathe Akamai project  was able to collaborate with four schools on Kaua‘i to install large vinyl advertisements and provide tobacco education presentations to grades 6 through 12, in 15 different schools to over 3,300 students on Kaua‘i, serving  public, charter and private schools.

The advertisements were designed to have a vaping awareness message by 808 No Vape or the Stronger Together campaign by the State Department of Health. The ads also promote  the statewide My Life, My Quit (MLMQ) program, a non-judgmental support for youth 17 and younger in their efforts to quit tobacco (including ESD). The MLMQ logo, phone number, website, and QR code (to the MLMQ website) were printed on all advertisements that are displayed in the schools. The vinyl advertisements placement will reach at least 2,540 students on Kaua‘i grades 6th-12th. 

The vinyl ads in addition to social media ads,  presentations, and promotional swag (shoe charms, stickers and shirts) work together to educate youth on the dangers of tobacco and will hopefully reduce initiation of tobacco-use and increase quitting tobacco among youth and young adults. Until then, TFK will continue to spread the Breathe Akamai and 808 No Vape message to Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau youth.

Tobacco/ESD prevention materials  were distributed primarily to the students at the identified four schools above and youth from other schools at presentations to help spread the tobacco-free message and recruitment for youth in the CTFH’s Youth Council program.

Get Involved

For more information on how to get involved with tobacco prevention and education,  please contact Community Coordinator, Valerie Saiki or call 808-591-6508 ext. 12.

Valerie K. Saiki

Valerie K. Saiki

Kaua‘i Community Coordinator (CTFH)
Back To Top