For over 20 years, Hawaii’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund has reduced the burden of tobacco in our state, saving both lives and healthcare costs. Since its inception, the state has achieved significant declines in smoking rates for both adults and youth.
Despite this progress, the toll of tobacco is substantial, and there is still work to be done. Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease, claiming 1,400 lives each year and creating $526 million in annual healthcare costs in Hawai‘i. E-cigarette use among youth has reached epidemic levels and erased decades of progress. Continued investment in tobacco prevention and control is needed to reverse this alarming trend and protect public health.
HB 1296 repeals the tobacco prevention and control trust fund. Please ask the Governor to veto this bill, which jeopardizes decades of progress in tobacco prevention and control efforts at a time it is needed the most.