State survey conducted before pandemic found 1 in 3 Hawaii high schoolers used e-cigarettes

(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
(Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 2:10 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly a third of Hawaii high schoolers reported using e-cigarettes, according to a newly-released survey conducted in 2019.

Lola Irvin, an administrator for the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division, said the Hawaii Youth Risk Behavior Survey results raise concerns about the health of Hawaii’s youth.

“The continued rise in youth use of electronic cigarettes reminds us that there is still work to be done and the importance of working with partners to ensure that policies and programs are in place to change the trajectory of this critical health risk behavior,” she said, in a news release.

The survey also highlighted concerns about adolescent mental health.

The survey found that 35% of high school students in 2019 reported feeling sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row during the 12 months before the survey.

In a positive development, the survey found that alcohol use declined from 2017 among Hawaii’s youth, with 1 in 5 high school students reporting that they drank alcohol within the last 30 days.

The survey also showed that 42% of high school students spent three hours or more per day playing video games or using a computer for non-school purposes compared to 31% in 2007.

The biggest caveat to the survey: It was conducted before the pandemic shuttered schools and halted in-person instruction. Classes haven’t resumed full-time for many students, and advocates have predicted that the gap in on-campus learning is likely to drive up the rates of risky behaviors.

To view the full survey report, click here.

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