Eighty students from six different islands rallied at the state Capitol on Wednesday to protest the high rates of teen vaping seen in Hawaiʻi's schools. According to the Hawaiʻi Public Health Insititute, one in four Hawaiʻi middle school students has tried an e-cigarette device.
Hearings on two bills, S.B. 1009 and S.B. 1405, concerning vaping products were held at the state Capitol on Wednesday. S.B. 1009 would ban the sale of candy-flavored tobacco products in Hawaiʻi. S.B.1405 would require electronic smoking devices be held to the same regulatory standard as conventional tobacco products.
There are currently not the kind of additional tax or packaging requirements for electronic smoking devices that are in place for cigarettes. Vaporizers and e-cigarettes can also be purchased online. The sale to and possesion of those devices by anyone under 21 years of age is prohibitted.
Students at the Capitol building spoke with legislators and testified on the two electronic smoking bills. The event was part of National Kick Butts Day, which took place in all 50 states.
The local rally was organized by the Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute.