Maui News

2,104 Cigarette Butts Picked Up at Kahului Harbor as Part of Great American Smokeout

November 21, 2021, 7:45 AM HST
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Jaymarvin Bautista, a junior at Maui High School (left), and Cecelia-Marie Kaho‘okele, a 6th grader at Maui Waena Intermediate (right) pick up cigarette butts at Kahului Harbor as part of an MEO Youth Services activity connected to the Great American Smokeout. PC: MEO

A total of 2,104 cigarette butts were picked up by Maui Economic Opportunity Youth Services participants at the Kahului Harbor Breakwater in conjunction with the Great American Smokeout on Thursday, Nov. 18.

A total of 18 participants scoured the breakwater off Kahului Beach Road for a half hour on Wednesday, Nov. 17, the day before the Smokeout. In addition to the cigarette butts, the high school and intermediate participants filled four bags with rubbish.

Eighteen MEO Youth Services intermediate and high school students picked up four bags of trash and more than 2,000 cigarette butts in 30 minutes at the Kahului Harbor Breakwater on Wednesday, Nov. 17. PC: MEO

MEO Youth Services runs substance abuse prevention programs, which include tobacco prevention, during school and after-school and summer and school breaks. Youths participate in drug- and alcohol-free activities that are fun, strengthen the family, embrace culture and reinforce healthy lifestyles. The goals of the evidence-based curriculum are to prevent or delay the age when youths begin smoking and drinking.

Service learning projects, such as the tobacco butt pick-up, are conducted after school and during school breaks.

For more than four decades, the American Cancer Society has designated the third Thursday of November as the Great American Smokeout. The day offers an opportunity for smokers to embark on a life without smoking.

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About 34 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world, the American Cancer Society says. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about one in five deaths.

  • For resources on quitting smoking, go to the website cancer.org/smokeout or call 800-227-2345.
  • For more information about MEO Youth Services programs, call 808-249-2990 or email dane.ka`[email protected]
MEO Youth Services participants scour the sand for cigarette butts to pick up at the Kahului Harbor Breakwater off Kahului Beach Road on Wednesday, Nov. 17, a day before the Great American Smokeout. PC: MEO

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