Department of Health launches “Control Asthma” campaign to identify and control child asthma triggers in Hawai‘i

Posted on Mar 8, 2023 in Newsroom

HONOLULU, HI – The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) recently launched a new public service announcement campaign identifying common asthma triggers and providing simple activities that parents can incorporate into their routines to help their children manage their asthma.

According to 2020 data from the Hawai‘i Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System,

1 in 13 children in Hawai‘i (7.7%) currently have asthma, which is higher than the national average (7.5%). In 2019, approximately 689 emergency department visits and 66 hospitalizations in Hawai‘i were for asthma among children aged 0-4 years.

“Anyone with asthma can have an asthma attack when exposed to a trigger,” said Dr. Brian Wu, Medicaid Medical Director at HMSA and Pediatric Pulmonologist at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children. “Asthma triggers vary from person to person, such as respiratory infections and environmental factors. It’s important for everyone in Hawai‘i, especially parents, to identify the triggers that can make asthma worse. Common environmental triggers include roaches, dust mites, mold, secondhand smoke, and vaping.” 

Other common asthma triggers include bad weather, vog, air pollution and other airborne irritants, health conditions (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), exercise, some medicines, strong emotions, and respiratory infections, such as those linked to influenza (flu), colds, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).  

According to Lola Irvin, DOH Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division Administrator, “In addition to helping parents identify and control asthma triggers, the campaign encourages parents to have an ‘Asthma Action Plan’ for their child.”

The public is encouraged to visit the campaign website,, to download the “Asthma Action Plan,” and learn more about asthma signs and symptoms, triggers, and information tailored for parents, caregivers, teachers, and coaches. More information on statewide asthma and control efforts are outlined in the “Hawai’i Asthma Plan 2030.” 

The “Control Asthma” campaign is slated to run through June 2023, and includes radio, digital, social media, and mall advertisements statewide. Each month, the campaign will feature a common source that can trigger an asthma attack.  

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