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Health Department Data Shows About 1 in 3 Hawaiʻi Teens Are Vaping

AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy

About 31% of high school students in Hawaiʻi vape regularly, according to a 2019 survey report from the state Department of Health.

The number is higher for neighbor islands.

In Hawaiʻi, Kauaʻi and Maui counties, it’s close to about 36% of high school students who vape regularly.

At the middle school level, about 18% of students say they also vape on a regular basis. That number is again higher for neighbor islands.

The state DOH is launching a new advertising campaign targeting teenage vape users in Hawaiʻi.

The ads inform teens of vaping risks and can be seen all over popular social media apps such as Instagram and TikTok.

The health department interviewed 70 teens across the state, and found that most of them vape in social settings.

The ads explain the effects of nicotine addiction to a teen’s developing brain, and how that can affect social relationships.

The health department is working towards a policy that bans the sale of sweet vape flavors in Hawaiʻi that often entice teens to start vaping.

The Hawaiʻi Tobacco Quitline now has a youth program with trained coaches who are trained to help minors quit smoking or vaping. They can be accessed by texting "start my quit" to 36072.

Zoe Dym is a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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