Tobacco addiction still plagues Hawaiʻi residents, and with the rise in popularity of vaping, Hawai‘i’s keiki are at risk of becoming the next generation of addicted tobacco users. That’s why the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health is launching two new campaigns with innovative messaging to reach, educate, and help adults and youth who are at-risk for tobacco addiction.
In 2021, (the latest data available) almost 15% of teens used e-cigarettes, with that number jumping to 20% for high school seniors.
Escape The Vape “Weaker Inside” Campaign
Hawaiʻi youth aren’t always aware of the dangers that come with vaping. They may not know that vaping damage can start immediately, affecting the lungs and leading to shortness of breath, coughing, and can make asthma worse. The “Weaker Inside” campaign educates youth about how the chemicals in vapor can damage airways, making it harder for lungs to clear out pollution, allergens, and germs that they breathe in. It also informs teens that the damage caused by the vapor they inhale can lead to diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia, and more.
“Being active and outdoors is important to our keiki, and we know that breathing can be impacted by vaping, especially when it comes to participating in their favorite sports,” said Lola Irvin, Department of Health Administrator of the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “Through the ‘Weaker Inside’ campaign, we’re able to highlight the dangers of vaping in a way that resonates with teens and shows them how vaping can impact their ability to perform in their favorite activities.”
The campaign delivers prevention messaging educating youth through online and traditional media channels, including some where they’re being exposed to pro-vape imagery and messaging.
Hawaiʻi Tobacco Quitline “Your Quit Smoking Sponsor” Campaign
Many kamaʻaina are already taking steps to live a healthier life, but oftentimes quitting nicotine is the last step people take. “Your Quit Smoking Sponsor” shows adult smokers how the Hawai‘i Tobacco Quitline can help them on their path to an addiction-free future.
“Through our research and conversations with tobacco users, they’ve told us that cigarettes are often a crutch they rely on for everything from stress relief to avoiding other addictive substances,” Irvin said. “We want smokers to know that the friendly, supportive coaches at the Hawai‘i Tobacco Quitline understand quitting is hard. The quitline is a free resource to help guide and support them throughout their quit journey.”
The campaign highlights how hard people have worked to overcome the many obstacles in their lives, including substance use and addiction, and how quitting tobacco can actually decrease the risk of relapse. It also points out that quitting tobacco decreases the symptoms of anxiety and depression over time.
The Hawaiʻi Tobacco Quitline provides free, confidential, and customized support for those ready to take the first step towards quitting tobacco and nicotine addiction. To speak with a trained coach and receive free patches, gum, or lozenges, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit hawaiiquitline.org.
For more information on Escape The Vape Hawai‘i, visit www.EscapeTheVapeHI.com and follow Escape The Vape Hawai‘i on Facebook and Instagram. For more information on Hawaiʻi Tobacco Quitline, visit www.hawaiiquitline.org/ and follow Hawaiʻi Tobacco Quitline on Facebook and Instagram.
Additionally, for Hawai‘i teens who would like to quit smoking or vaping, the Hawai‘i Tobacco Quitline continues to offer “My Life, My Quit,” a free program with trained coaches to help youth up to 17 years-old quit smoking or vaping. Teens can sign up by texting “Start My Quit” to 36072. Teens, parents, guardians, and health care providers can also visit www.MyLifeMyQuit.com for more information.