After a successful 2018-19 year, new and returning Youth Council members are eager for 2019-20! Last year,  more than 1,800 students were reached through peer-to-peer presentations and thousands more across the state through awareness activities covered by TV, radio, and newspaper. Their Flavors Hook Kids campaign was covered by nearly every state media outlet and even received national attention. While their bill was deferred, they have decided to double down and continue the fight to end the sale of flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in the next session.

Saturday, September 21, is this year’s kickoff event where students will be honing their peer-to-peer presentation skills through youth lead presentations and activities. Claudia Rodas, Regional Director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, will be a special guest this year and will update the students on what’s happening across the country with flavor bans and the important role Hawai‘i could play in advancing this type of legislation in other states.

Noah Chang, a sophomore, didn’t wait for the kickoff, he jumped right in with a presentation to his former middle school at Maryknoll. Noah presented to 280 students and educated them on the health impacts of tobacco, including vaping, as well as how the tobacco industry targets youth. Noah will be one of the youths helping to train their peers at the Youth Council Kickoff event on Saturday. He first got involved by attending Kick Butts Day last March, which inspired him to join the Youth Council.

More information about the Youth Council can be found at www.hiphi.org/youth. You can also follow their efforts on Instagram @hiphiyc.