Preventing Youth and Young Adult Tobacco Use

The Goal: Prevent the Initiation of Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults.

Tobacco use by youth and young adults causes both immediate and long-term damage. One of the most serious health effects is nicotine addiction, which prolongs tobacco use and can lead to severe health consequences. Nicotine changes the developing adolescent brain in the areas responsible for attention, learning, and memory. The younger people are when they start using tobacco, the more likely they’ll become addicted.

E-cigarettes, electronic smoking devices, or vapes, are battery-powered devices that provide higher doses of nicotine and other potentially harmful chemicals in aerosol form to the user. Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among teens and experimentation with e-cigarettes is still increasing. Preventing initiation of tobacco use among teens can prevent adverse health outcomes later in life.

Data from the 2019 Hawai‘i Youth Tobacco Survey show that about 57% of middle school and 60% of high school students tried to stop and want to quit smoking or vaping. Digital-based quit support services that include texting, web, chat, and apps, show great promise in expanding the reach of tobacco cessation treatment for youth. Personalized counseling from specially trained youth coaches is available via phone, text, or e-chat at Hawai’i – My Life My Quit.

Learn more at: Understanding Youth Vaping In Hawaii – Healthy Hawaii Initiative

For help quitting smoking and vaping call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit the Hawaii – Hawai‘i Tobacco Quitline (

What we do:

  • Work with communities in building capacity for youth and young adults’ engagement in evidence-based tobacco control activities and strategies
  • Promote youth prevention campaigns
  • Develop and evaluate collaborative projects, education and resources with schools, organizations, health care systems, and networks
  • Increase access to cessation services for youth
  • Provide informational activities on tobacco prevention and control, including merchant and community education and resources promoting compliance with youth tobacco laws

Local Tobacco Cessation Resources for Youth, Young Adults and Families:

National Resources and Information on Youth Cessation