Youth E-cig use rising locally

Youth are using e-cigarettes at increasing and alarming rates.

The Surgeon General concluded that e-cigarette use among youth is now a significant public health concern and steps must be taken by parents, educators, and especially policymakers to discourage use of e-cigarettes.

Tobacco is a leading risk factor for chronic diseases like cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart disease and yet, tobacco remains Wisconsin’s No. 1 preventable cause of death.

Thirteen percent of high school students currently report using e-cigarettes, compared to 8 percent reporting conventional cigarette use.

Across the state, the use of e-cigarettes use among high school students increased 68 percent from 2014 to 2016.

Locally, Healthiest Sheboygan County 2020 and re:TH!NK, the Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network are engaging community members to implement proven tobacco prevention strategies.

Some current efforts include public outreach, classroom education on a variety of topics, hosting public events for students and their parents, and completing annual compliance checks and retailer assessments.

While nicotine slows brain development in adolescents, two of the chemicals found in some e-cigarettes (diacetyl and 2,3-pentanedione) have been shown to cause irreparable lung disease.

As e-cigarettes gain popularity among students, community involvement is necessary to help address the changing face of tobacco.

Parents are encouraged to learn more about the addictive products that tempt their children.

For more information and become more involved in youth tobacco prevention in Sheboygan County, contact Elizabeth Abler, RN, public health nurse, at Elizabeth.abler@sheboygancounty.com.


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