Parents – It’s Time to Talk with your Kids About Smoking and “Vaping”

Studies have shown that near the start of summer adolescents and college students most often use substances for the first time during June or July. 1

High school student electronic smoking device use has tripled since 2011 and middle school smokers are up over 11% in Hawai’i! 2

As of 2015, 22% of high school students now use electronic smoking devices, otherwise known as e-cigs or vaporizers.

“The biggest misconception is students believe ‘vaping’ is safe,” said Kathyrn Akioka, Tobacco Treatment Specialist and Registered Respiratory Therapist at Hamakua-Kohala Health. “The important thing for young people to understand is that they’re being lied to. Every brand is different, they’re not regulated, and studies have found many brands contain heavy metals and formaldehyde, just to name a few.”

According to a 2017 study by the Hawaii Public Health Institute – Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii, 100% of all e-cigs contain more than just flavoring, yet 66% of teens believe flavoring and water is all there is. In fact they’re usually smoking Propylene glycol, commonly found in antifreeze and used to make polyester compounds.

The Tobacco Cessation program is available to everyone in our community (18+) and the participant does NOT need to be a patient of HKH to receive services and nicotine replacement therapy items or Chantix. Please call Kathyrn or Kai directly at 808-937-9979, for appointments at either Honoka’a  or Kohala clinics.

FREE nicotine replacement items are available, such as:

  • Patches
  • Gum
  • Lozenges
  • Non-Nicotine Chantix – Some restrictions apply

For more information visit the Hawaii Public Health Institute – Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii and learn about the Youth ESD Prevention Project.

  1. SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health – https://www.samhsa.gov/prevention-week
  2. Hawaii Public Health Institute – Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii – https://hiphi.org/tobacco/