Business

InSpire to Live and Breathe Town Hall

August 23, 2018, 12:25 PM HST
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There is a new fad among middle and high school students that has been on the rise for the last five years—one that has health risks and is against the law for anyone under the age of 21—and that is “vaping.”

Electronic Smoking Devices (ESDs) are now the most popular tobacco product among youth in Hawai‘i County with 32% of high school students and 19% of middle school students using vapor products in a 30-day period, according to the 2017 Hawai‘i State Department of Health Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Those experimenting with vape products do so at a much higher rate of 49% for high school and 32% for middle school. This is a significant increase in youth use, even though it has been illegal for youth to purchase or possess ESDs since 2016.

To address this public health issue in Hawai’i County, the Tobacco-Free Hawai‘i Island Coalition, a program of the Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, is hosting the InSpire to Live and Breathe Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Office of Aging-ADRC Large Conference Room, 1055 Kinoole St. in Hilo. Registration is required to attend and community members can reserve their spot by registering online at the events tab.

Parents, youth, health professionals, and the general community are invited to learn about ESDs, the current county and state laws and potential policies, and how ESDs are being marketed locally to attract youth. There will be an ESD panel, facilitated by Sherry Brakken, which will address ESDs from a variety of perspectives. Panelists include an administrator from the Department of Education, a representative of the Hawai‘i County Prosecutor’s Office, a senior from Kea‘au High School, staff from the Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, a Vape industry retailer, and a representative from the Department of Health.

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The event is funded by the Tobacco Prevention and Education Program, Hawai‘i State Department of Health. For more information, email Hawai‘i Island Community Coordinator Sally Ancheta at [email protected].

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