Youth Advocates Host Statewide March Against Menthol
An estimated 80 advocates participated in a statewide March Against Menthol, held Sunday afternoon at eight sites across the state, including a sign-waving event fronting the Queen Kaʻahumanu Center in Kahului on Maui.
Participants gathered to send a message that youth and minorities should not be targeted by Big Tobacco.
According to organizers, 78% of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander smokers in Hawaiʻi use menthol cigarettes.
Organizers say menthol is considered a gateway product for women, minorities and youth and are easier to start, but more addictive and harder to quit.
Wailuku resident Aubrey Ahana said, “Tobacco companies make different flavors so more people will buy their products. Even though menthol flavors don’t seem like much, they still have the same amount of nicotine that every other flavor has. Just because it tastes different, it doesn’t mean the nicotine is less.”