Hawaiʻi’s Escape the Vape Campaign Continues with Teen Addiction Rising
The Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (DOH) released a new Escape the Vape Hawai‘i ad that hits hard on the relationship between teen vaping and addiction.
“Inseparable” is the newest ad currently in rotation amid a recently released 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey that shows more than 2 million US middle and high school students report currently using e-cigarettes. The survey was conducted for the US Food & Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This newest data aligns with recent statewide findings showing significant percentages of teens vaping. The last Hawaiʻi youth survey conducted in 2019 showed that teen vaping has soared, underscoring more than one in three high school students on the neighbor islands vaped. The prevalence rate of students using e-cigarettes at least once in the last 30 days was 36.4% on Maui.
“The reason Escape the Vape Hawai‘i exists is because of these disturbing facts which show an upward trend in teen vaping,” said Lola Irvin, Department of Health Administrator of the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division. “When teens vape, they can become addicted. An addicted teen puts themselves at risk for various mental and physical issues, some of which may be irreversible. So, it is very concerning that the newest national data also show 85% of teen vapers use flavored e-cigarettes, which means the tobacco industry continues to successfully target and entice our youth.”
To help counter vape marketing to youth, DOH’s newest Escape the Vape Hawai‘i ad focuses on the social aspects of nicotine addiction. In early conversations with local youth, DOH found that teens often vape or are exposed to vaping when they’re with friends or in other social settings. Hawaii’s strong value around community and socialization may offer more opportunities for sharing vapes with friends or in family circles.
The Hawaiʻi Tobacco Quitline also is offering My Life, My Quit, a free program with trained Hawaiʻi-based coaches to help youth up to 17-years old quit smoking or vaping. Teens can sign up by texting “Start My Quit” to 36072 or calling 855-891-9989. Parents, guardians and health care providers also can call or visit MyLifeMyQuit.com for more information.
Escape the Vape Hawai‘i is on TV, radio and social media platforms. Learn more about vaping risks at www.EscapeTheVapeHI.com or look for Escape The Vape Hawai‘i on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.