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New Law Makes All 10 University of Hawai‘i Campuses Tobacco-Free

July 11, 2018, 7:45 AM HST · Updated July 11, 7:45 AM
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PC: Smoke Free UHMC Initiative.

The process of making all 10 University of Hawaiʻi campuses tobacco-free begins today after new legislation sponsored by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network became law.

Electronic cigarettes are included in the comprehensive tobacco-free law that took effect yesterday, July 10.

Davin Aoyagi, grassroots manager for ACS CAN Hawaii-Pacific thanked Hawaiʻi’s policymakers for protecting current UH students and future generations from secondhand smoke and e-cigarette aerosol. “UH campuses are meant to help Hawaiʻi’s future generations learn and grow, not foster potentially deadly tobacco addictions,” he said.

“We know that 99% of all adults who smoke become addicted to tobacco before they turn 26 and that’s why it’s critical to support our youth with prevention and cessation efforts, as well as eliminate their exposure to secondhand smoke, e-cigarette aerosol and all tobacco products in their learning environments,” said Aoyagi.  “This lifesaving legislation will protect 51,000 students across the UH System, as well as ensure that faculty, staff, children in the UH daycare and visitors to our campuses can breathe clean air, free of all tobacco use,” he said.

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With this new law, the University of Hawaiʻi System joins more than 1,800 college and university campuses across the country that are tobacco-free. Hawaiʻi residents who want to quit using tobacco are encouraged to call the Hawaiʻi Quitline at 1-800-784-8669.

According to information compiled by the University, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Hawaiʻi, and secondhand smoke exposure causes many serious health issues, including cancer. According to the UH report, an estimated 30 percent of all cancer deaths are caused by tobacco. The report further states that “there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure.”

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials to make cancer a top priority.

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