Hawaii Health Department's Continued Fight Against Tobacco Marketing In Youth

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Hawaii Health Department's Continued Fight Against Tobacco Marketing In Youth
Hawaii health department extends "Be Strong Together" campaign to combat targeted tobacco marketing to youth.

According to a report by Einpresswire on February 21st, the Hawaii Department of Health has extended the "Stand Strong Together" campaign, revealing targeted marketing by the tobacco industry towards Hawaii's youth.


According to reports, the tobacco industry spends an estimated $22 million on marketing in Hawaii each year, resulting in annual healthcare costs of $611 million, productivity losses totaling $1.1 billion, and a state and federal tax burden of nearly $1,000 per household. In an effort to combat the epidemic of young people using e-cigarettes, the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) and the Hawaii Public Health Institute (HIPHI) recently relaunched the "Strong Together" initiative.


The impact of e-cigarettes varies among different counties. Data shows that the burden of the youth e-cigarette epidemic is mainly borne by the counties. Among high school students in Kauai County, approximately 16% reported currently using e-cigarettes, while in Maui County it was 18%, in Hawaii County it was 22%, and in Honolulu County it was 13%.


In history, various counties in Hawaii have implemented policies to control tobacco products, with Hawaii County being one of the first areas nationwide to raise the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21. All four counties have already banned smoking in parks and beaches before this prohibition became state law.


However, for big tobacco companies, their strategy is to focus their special interests at the state level. In 2018, state legislatures stripped counties of the power to regulate the sale of tobacco products. However, during the 2024 legislative session, several bills were introduced, including HB1778, seeking to restore county authority and allow for appropriate actions to protect children based on local needs.


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