Hawaii State Teachers Association calls for ban on all flavored tobacco products, citing increase use by students
Despite efforts to curb electronic cigarette use in Hawaii, some public school teachers say they're seeing more students using vaping products.
The Hawaii State Teachers Association now wants to ban all flavored tobacco products.
The Hawaii Department of Education banned electronic smoking devices in 2015. The Hawaii Department of Education banned electronic smoking devices in 2015. Anyone caught with one faces a class C offense, which could warrant dismissal.
HSTA said its teachers are confiscating more e-cigarettes and other vaping products in the classroom. Educators said the big concern is with flavored tobacco products because it's what they see students using the most. They believe a ban is necessary.
"When a student is addicted to nicotine and they cant concentrate in class, this affects their learning. If they are only thinking about when they are going to be able to sneak and smoke, it affects their learning and it affects their future really," said Mitzie Higa with the Hawaii State Teacher's Association.
Data in 2017 from the Hawaii Department of Health shows 26 percent of high school students reported smoking e-cigarettes. That makes Hawaii the second highest in the nation after Colorado. But middle school students were highest rate in the nation.
HSTA said it will be supporting lawmakers and groups who are making an effort to ban the devices.
On Thursday The Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii will be hosting an event promoting solutions to ending vaping at 10 a.m. at the state capitol.