Thursday, October 10, 2019


WHO:             Representative Roy M. Takumi, Chair, House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce
Senator Rosalyn H. Baker, Chair, Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health

WHAT:          Informational Briefing seeking solutions to end the youth vaping epidemic

WHEN:          Thursday, October 17
                        10 a.m.

WHERE:       Hawaiʻi State Capitol
                        Room 309

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi –The House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce and the Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health Committee will hold an informational briefing on the youth vaping epidemic at 10 a.m. Thursday, October 17 in room 309 at the State Capitol.

Youth vaping is a serious public health issue and recently there has been a dramatic increase in use of electronic smoking devices by Hawaiʻi's youth. Only 4.7 percent of Hawaiʻi adults report use of electronic smoking devices as compared to 26 percent of our public high school students with numbers up to 34 percent for the neighbor islands. The national vaping average is 13 percent.
Overall, U.S. youth vaping surged 78 percent in just one year between 2017 and 2018.

The lack of federal regulation has allowed the tobacco industry and electronic smoking device industry to significantly increase the introduction and marketing of flavored non-cigarette tobacco products, especially electronic smoking devices.

The U.S. Surgeon General, Food & Drug Administration and the CDC have since urged states to take action. They are prompting state and local jurisdictions to protect children from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks by immediately addressing the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.

Hawai‘i has experienced a heightened promotion of vape products that offer candy and local flavors specifically designed to appeal to the State's youth.  These flavors include candy, fruit, chocolate, mint, Kona coffee, Maui mango, shaka strawberry, and Moloka‘i hot bread. Many of the packages are designed to look like popular kids’ candies, such as Jolly Ranchers and Sour Patch Kids.
In this informational briefing, Hawai‘i speakers will give presentations on the growing local and national problem associated with youth e-cigarette use and two experts will speak on the current commerce, regulation, and policy trends of flavored tobacco and menthol and its effects on public health, especially as it relates to youth. 

Presentations include:
  • Update on Vaping Epidemic by the Department of the Attorney General
  • Hawaii's Youth Vaping Epidemic by the Department of Health
  • Update on the Cases of Severe Pulmonary Disease Associated with E-Cigarette Use by Dr. Bryan, pediatrician and Medical Director for Kapiolani Smokefree Families
  • Targeting of Youth Through Marketing & Sales by Samantha Domingo, Farrington High School student and Hawai‘i Public Health Institute Youth Council Member  
  • The Truth About Tobacco Economics by Dr. Frank Chaloupka, Research Professor at Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • San Francisco's Flavor Ban - Implementation and Enforcement of E-Cigarette Regulation Laws by Dr. Valerie Yerger, naturopathic doctor and Associate Professor at Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education, University of California, San Francisco
No public testimony will be accepted.

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