In Utah, it is estimated that more than 30% of middle and high schoolers have tried electronic cigarettes. This is an alarming rate given that we are seeing more evidence daily of negative long-term effects. A recent study showed negative cardiovascular effects from vaping; https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/20/health/vaping-cardiovascular-study/index.html
This summer the Legislature has convened an “E-Cigarette Legislative Working Group” to better identify the effects and root causes of the teen vaping epidemic we are seeing not just in Utah, but across the country. Schools and Superintendents from across the state sounded the alarm of just how big this problem is. For them, it’s not a once a day issue, it’s every class period and between classes too!
The next generation of tobacco products have changed. With fun flavors and sleek designs, today’s products are made to look appealing. Don’t be fooled—they’re full of nicotine and can be just as addictive. Tobacco has changed, parents.
hero_image_alt_text===Picture of e-cigarettes laying on a table
thumbnail_alt_text===Picture of e-cigarettes laying on a table
IT’S TIME FOR THE WAY YOU TALK ABOUT TOBACCO TO CHANGE TOO.
As you or your children go back to school, please have discussions about the harmful effects of tobacco use. If you need help to start these discussions, check out the great resources here at our Utah Department of Health: https://thetobaccotalk.org/
Or review this Fact Sheet from the Surgeon General: https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/SGR_ECig_ParentTipSheet_508.pdf
As advocates – and more importantly – in your role as a parent, grandparent, family member, neighbor or peer, it is vital that you are not only aware of this tremendous problem, but that you talk to the young people in your lives about the devastating consequences of tobacco and nicotine addiction.
Interested in learning more about how you can join the fight against youth tobacco use? Reach out to Marc Watterson, our local Government Relations Director, to get the latest on our efforts to combat the vaping epidemic in our schools.