Tobacco Use Prevention and Control
Tobacco... A Public Health Issue
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Hawaii. In Hawaii alone, it claims 1,100 lives each year and creates $336 million in annual healthcare costs directly attributed to smoking. Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined - and thousands more die from other tobacco-related causes - such as fires caused by smoking and smokeless tobacco use.
Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, and half of all long-term smokers die prematurely from tobacco-related diseases. In addition to negatively impacting the user, secondhand smoke from cigarette use can cause premature death and disease in children and adults who do not smoke; in fact, there is no risk-free exposure to secondhand smoke. Of the 1,100 deaths each year in our state attributable to smoking, 150 are attributable to secondhand smoke.
An estimated 153,100 adults in the state report being current smokers, and approximately 6,700 public high school students youth report smoking cigarettes. In fact, our children alone purchase and smoke 1.7 million packs of cigarettes per year. Approximately $33.5 million is spent by the tobacco industry in Hawaii to market tobacco products; published research studies have found that kids are twice as sensitive to tobacco advertising when compared to adults, and one third of underage experimentation with smoking is attributable to the direct impact of advertising.
In addition to cigarettes and cigars, there are other tobacco products on the market that come in many different shapes, sizes, flavors and prices. They are often promoted as safer, cheaper, lawful to use in non-smoking environment or more discreet tobacco products. Tobacco use, in any form, is addictive and harmful.
Some populations are particularly at risk for tobacco use. People with low household incomes and/or education, the unemployed, unmarried and young adults persistently have the highest smoking rates in the state. Native Hawaiians consistently have a higher smoking rate of any ethnic group in Hawaii followed by Filipino adult males.
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (2012). The toll of tobacco in Hawaii. Retrieved from http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/facts_issues/toll_us/hawaii. Accessed August 15, 2012.
Tobacco Use Prevention & Control in Hawaii. A Strategic Plan for the State 2011-2016. Click Here.
Last updated: Oct 31, 2012 2:13 pm