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Hawaii students and advocates rally to revive bill that stops flavored tobacco sales

By Arielle Argel

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    HONOLULU (KITV) — Many lawmakers, students and advocates for a tobacco free Hawaii will be holding a rally and press conference to revive a bill that would stop the sales of flavored tobacco products.

“We have over 100 youth coming from around the state to ask the legislature to listen to youth and to the advocates to revive [Senate Bill] 1447 and urgently take action in regards to ending the sale of flavored tobacco,” said Alexandria Felton, the regional advocacy director with the campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.

Felton said many of the students joining the rally are taking time out of their spring breaks to be at the rally and press conference.

“One in three Hawaii high school student’s are vaping and when I heard that I was shocked knowing a third of my peers are actively vaping. This is largely because of the flavors that the tobacco industry has created to reel us youth into using their products and becoming lifetime customers for them,” said Luke Itomura, a student at Punahou School.

This was not the first time SB 1447 had been proposed. In the last two years, the bill had been passed by the senate twice, however both times the house has chosen not to hear it.

The rally is happening on Wednesday, Mar. 20 on the first floor of the State Capitol. Students will be marching to the capitol from the Aloha Tower starting at 11:30 a.m. Then the rally will begin at 12:30 p.m. with the press conference starting shortly after at 1 p.m.

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