While it is easy to forget when were are almost two years into dealing with Covid-19, before the pandemic Montana was facing a different kind of epidemic brought about by the tobacco industry. A youth smoking epidemic driven by egregiously flavored tobacco products. In late 2018 the US Surgeon General declared vaping/tobacco use by U.S. teenagers had reached epidemic levels, threatening to hook a new generation of young people on nicotine.
Addressing these startling numbers, an estimated 26% of Montana teenagers admit to using these products, is a priority for the American Heart Association. While it isn't easy we are continuing to look for opportunities to address the issue here in Montana. The legislature didn't meet in 2022 but we are evaluating our options for the 2023 legislative session as we work to address the problem and prevent another generation from getting hooked on nicotine.
If you'd like to hear more about the issue right here in Montana click below and watch a report by KRTV in Great Falls.