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The Conversation

This group is collecting thousands of slippers to illustrate the toll smoking takes on Hawaiʻi keiki

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Nearly 30% of Hawaiʻi’s youth use e-cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly 10% smoke traditional cigarettes. To give the public an idea of the toll smoking takes on our kids, The Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaiʻi Youth Council is trying to collect 21,000 pairs of new slippers statewide this month.

The council says each pair represents a Hawaiʻi keiki alive today who will ultimately die from smoking — unless current smoking rates decline. To get a snapshot of what’s being done to steer youth away from tobacco products, The Conversation sat down with Scott Stensrud, the statewide youth coordinator for Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute, and Josh Ching, a senior at Kamehameha Schools Kapalama and member of the council.

To help the youth council achieve its goal by Jan. 30, you can drop off pairs of new slippers at the Windward Mall center court display. Slippers will then be donated to houseless and other at-risk youth.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Jan. 25, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

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