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American Lung Association 'State of Tobacco Control' Report Finds Hawaii Must Do More to Prevent, Reduce Tobacco Use

Hawaii receives mixed grades on tobacco prevention and cessation

(January 30, 2019) - HONOLULU

For more information please contact:

Holly Harvey
[email protected]
(206) 512-3292

Tobacco use remains Hawaii's and the nation's leading cause of preventable death and disease, taking an estimated 480,000 lives every year in the U.S. This year's "State of Tobacco Control" report from the American Lung Association finds that Hawaii earned failing grades on its efforts to reduce and prevent tobacco use. The American Lung Association calls on Hawaii officials to adequately fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs, regulate electronic smoking devices and ban flavored e-cigarettes to protect youth.

The need for Hawaii to protect youth from tobacco is more urgent than ever, with youth e-cigarette use reaching epidemic levels due to a 78 percent increase in high school e-cigarette use from 2017 to 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This equals one million additional kids beginning to use e-cigarettes, placing their developing bodies at risk from the chemicals in e-cigarettes, as well as a lifetime of deadly addiction.

"Tobacco use is a serious addiction and we need to invest in the proven measures to prevent and reduce tobacco use," said Carrie Nyssen, Senior Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association in Hawaii. "The ‘State of Tobacco Control' report is a roadmap on how to save lives."

The 17th annual "State of Tobacco Control" report grades states and the federal government on policies proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use, and finds that Hawaii earns the following grades:

  • Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
  • Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws - Grade A
  • Level of State Tobacco Taxes - Grade B
  • Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco - Grade B
  • Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21 – Grade A

The American Lung Association encourages Hawaii to fully fund tobacco control efforts at levels recommended by the CDC.

By increasing funding for tobacco control programs, Hawaii would have a powerful opportunity to further reduce and prevent tobacco use, including supporting communities that still use tobacco at higher rates and who have been targeted by the tobacco industry. Despite Hawaii receiving an estimated $160 million  from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes, the state does not fund tobacco control efforts at levels recommended by the CDC.

For media interested in speaking with an expert about the "State of Tobacco Control" report, lung health, tobacco use and tobacco control policies, contact [email protected] or 206-512-3292.

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About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

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