The Hawaii State Department of Health and the Department of Education released research findings showing dramatic improvements in reducing cigarettes smoking among Hawaii youth. Results released from the 2011 Hawaii School Health Survey’s Youth Tobacco Study showed that current smoking (in the past 30 days) among high school students has dropped by 64 per cent from 24.5 per cent in 2000 to 8.7 per cent in 2011, and frequent smokers (on 20 or more of the past 30 days) has decreased by over 70 per cent from 10.3 per cent in 2000 to 2.9 per cent in 2011.
Among middle school students, current smoking dropped from 5.3 per cent in 2003 to 3.6 per cent in 2011, and only 0.7 per cent reported every day smoking in 2011.
Hawaii teens smoke at lower rates in comparison with teens nationally (at 17.2 percent for high school students and 5.2 per cent of middle school students according to the National Youth Tobacco Study 2009).
While the results are positive and tobacco use among youth in Hawaii continues to drop, there are new interests about the use of alternate smoking products.
These have recently gained big popularity among youth and are being heavily marketed by the cigarettes industry.
For the first time, this year’s study showed the use of such smoking products by youth in Hawaii, including e-cigs, hookah, orbs, sticks, strips and also snus.
Data showed that 12.8 per cent of high school students have tried hookah and 5.1 per cent have tried e-cigs. Smokeless tobacco products rates for Hawaii youngsters have remained the same over the years.