September 30, 2003
HONOLULU - Hawaii is ranked second in the country in its efforts to
prevent and reduce the use of tobacco among women. This according to
"Women and Smoking: A National and State-by-State Report Card" released
today by the National Women’s Law Center and the Oregon Health
& Science University.
The "report card" assessed the nation’s progress,
state-by-state, looking at health status and health policy indicators
relating to women’s well being and smoking.
Hawaii ranked above average in several areas:
- relatively low number of current smokers (currently16.6% national
- highest percentage of women who have tried to quit during the last
- funding tobacco control programs at CDC recommended levels
- substantial tax on tobacco products (a measure that’s shown
to be effective in reducing smoking especially among youth)
- improvement in availability and coverage for smoking cessation
Areas where Hawaii still has room for improvement include:
developing telephone-based smoking cessation counseling services known
as "quitlines" and requiring Medicaid and private insurers to cover
The report also highlights the link between aggressive, adequately
funded tobacco prevention programs and the decrease in tobacco use
among women and girls. This despite the continuing efforts of tobacco
companies to target this vulnerable population.
"While we are pleased with Hawaii’s ranking in the study, we
want to caution the public that these benchmarks and indicators are
just guideposts along the way," said Chiyome Fukino, M.D., Director,
Hawaii State Department of Health. "Smoking kills 1,100 people every
year in Hawaii, we still have a long way to go."
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United
States. Smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, the leading cancer
killer for women. It also greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular
disease, the leading overall killer of women.
For more information on tobacco prevention and women’s health,
visit the Department of Health web site at www.hawaii.gov/doh/resource/tobacco.
More information on this topic will be available at the public health
conference "Making Waves - Pursuing Health and Justice in Tobacco
Control" October 30th at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Call
956-8204 for more information.
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For more information, contact:
Tobacco Prevention Program Coordinator
Phone: (808) 586-4662
Laura M. Lott
Phone: (808) 586-4418