Thirty-nine states have formed a coalition to investigate Juul’s marketing and sales practices, which include the targeting of youth, claims regarding nicotine content, and statements regarding risks, safety and effectiveness as an option to stop smoking cigarettes, Attorney General Clare Connors said today.
“The vaping epidemic in our schools has set back many of the health gains Hawaii achieved in the wake of the tobacco war,” Connors said. “The statistics for our state are staggering, and my department is working with other states and our local counterparts to investigate the role of JUUL Labs in purposefully targeting our youth and creating a devastating health threat to our community.”
State health officials confirmed in September Hawaii’s first case of severe respiratory illness linked to vaping following the hospitalization of a Hawaii Island youth. More than 2,800 cases of severe lung injuries, including 68 deaths, from vaping have been reported across the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the cases are related to illicit cannabinoid products, such as THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component in pakalolo.
While cigarette smoking has fallen substantially in recent years, e-cigarette use has soared among local youth, according to a 2017 study from the Hawaii School Health Survey. Hawaii high schoolers were vaping at double the average rate nationally.
National and state surveys show:
>> 42.3% of Hawaii’s public high school students had used e-cigarettes;
>> 27% of Hawaii’s public middle school students had used vaping products;
>> 9% had first tried using electronic devices before the age of 13.