Tobacco use remains the top preventable cause of death in Hawaii, as well as the rest of the country. Each year, smoking results in the death of more than 1,000 Hawaiian residents and costs the state as much as $656 million in health care costs and lost productivity. It also accounts for up to $117 million in Medicare expenditures. To help combat some of these numbers, the state of Hawaii has created a Tobacco Prevention and Education program, with a variety of resource materials to help Hawaiians kick the habit for good. We have a few of the resources available for smoking cessation and prevention in the islands.
Much of the aim of the Tobacco Prevention and Education program in Hawaii is to keep kids off cigarettes before they ever take that first puff. The state offers a wealth of video options to show to classrooms, with most geared to the junior highs and high schools. Some of the videos include discussion guides, to facilitate teaching opportunities at home or in class. The state also provides a range of fact sheets online that educate parents and teachers about the availability of cigarettes for kids and the peer pressures that lead many youngsters to pick up the habit. Even younger children can benefit from the Hawaii program, with a Bernstein Bears book about smoking and a coloring book that promotes a smoke-free, healthy body.
Adults can also benefit from the Tobacco Prevention and Education program in Hawaii, with videos geared specifically to the needs of young adults and women. Adults also have a variety of fact sheets to choose from, including one on smoking during pregnancy and the history of smoking legislation. The program also features videos and brochures for smoking cessation programs, which include valuable information like help-lines, group and individual support programs and related websites.
Second-hand smoke is a health detriment for everyone who lives with a smoker, and the state of Hawaii wants to alert residents to the dangers involved with second-hand smoke exposure as well. Videos offered by the Tobacco Prevention and Education program include education material on the dangers of second-hand smoke to children, and some of the material is actually geared toward a younger audience. Fact sheets are also provided, with information about health risks associated with second-hand smoke and state and county laws on tobacco use.
Hawaii, like the rest of the country, has a smoking problem, with a significant number of the Hawaiian population falling ill from exposure to tobacco every year. Thanks to the Tobacco Prevention and Education program, more Hawaiians are tuning into the dangers associated with tobacco use and finding the support they need to kick the habit once and for all.