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Extension helps youth escape the vape epidemic (column)

Synithia Flowers

Synithia Flowers

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use among high school students has increased at a staggering rate. 

According to the United States surgeon general, e-cigarette use is higher among youth than adults and has become a national epidemic. These high-dose nicotine products are a direct gateway to traditional cigarettes and cause a number of health issues in addition to nicotine addiction.

Nearly three out of five high school smokers use e-cigarettes. Of the $9.5 billion spent annually by the tobacco industry throughout the country, an estimated $210 million is spent in Alabama each year.

Alabama Extension is implementing a statewide anti-vaping program, Escape Vapes, aimed at preventing and reducing adolescent use of e-cigarettes, which is popularized among young people as a “safer” alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes. 

E-cigarettes, however, can be more dangerous than traditional cigarettes. Escape Vapes uses research-based education to inform and stop adolescent use of these substances.

Escape Vapes is offered virtually to students in grades 5-12. Schools, youth organizations or others interested in scheduling a program can contact the St. Clair Extension Office at 205-338-9416 or Synithia Flowers, human sciences regional Extension agent, at 205-329-1148 or email willisl@aces.edu.

 

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