Hawaii's efforts to reduce smoking amongst children have been lauded with a message to not rest on the laurels, but to give an added thrust to the campaign. Smoking hampers their health and leads to lifelong addiction. Instead of sprucing up the drive, by augmenting the anti-smoking budget, Hawaii has regressed by reducing the budget for smoking prevention. The prices of cigarettes have not been hiked, unfortunately, which might have deterred the teens from the dreadful habit.
The state's expenditure accounts show that only $5.8 million is being spent on tobacco prevention and control, prompting the American Lung Association to grade it 'D'. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has recommended an expenditure of at least $10.78 million on tobacco prevention.
Deborah Zysman, executive director of the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Hawaii is of the opinion that , when money is spent on tobacco prevention, the effect shows in significant decrease of the habit among the teens. To quote her example, Maine, showed a 64 percent decline in smoking among school students, in eight years, when they expended more on tobacco prevention schemes. When the state's cigarette tax doubled recently, these figures are slated to drop further.
A bill, currently on the legislator's desk, that proposes to hike the rate of cigarettes, is due to be out. The advocates of this bill have elaborated on the effects of tobacco that lead to decline in worker productivity and cost $7.18 in health care. This would cost Hawaii $526 million in lost productivity. So, Hawaii, Don't be Penny Wise, Pound Foolish!