2019 Great American Smokeout Messaging Educates Community on E-cigarette Flavors
Fillmore, NY – Students from Fillmore’s Reality Check program marked 2019’s Great American Smokeout (GASO) by painting windows of the local Shop and Save to with the message: “Sweet flavs lead to outrageous behaviors.”
E-cigarette use among teens is on the rise, creating an emerging public health concern. Since New York State health officials began tracking e-cigarette use in 2014, use by high school students increased from 10.5 percent to 27.4 percent in 2018. New national data shows that vaping among high schoolers jumped 78 percent from last year, with middle school vaping increasing by 48 percent.
The high school senior vaping rate in Allegany County is 38.5 percent, which is 2 percent higher than the New York State average.
Jonathan Chaffee, Reality Check Youth Coordinator at Tobacco-Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties (TF-CCA), says young people’s attraction to vapes has to do largely with the fruity flavors they come in.
“Kids and parents: Don’t let sweet talking messages and flavors like mint, crème and mango from Juul fool you,” said Chaffee. “Each JUUL pod delivers the same amount of addictive nicotine as 20 cigarettes.”
Chaffee also noted that young people who vape are four times more likely to use traditional cigarettes in the future.
The most popular e-cigarette manufacturer, JUUL, has played a major role in the youth vaping epidemic. The company, which is partially owned by Big Tobacco company Altria, never submitted its products to the independent, clinical testing needed to clearly understand the products’ long term effects.
GASO was established in 1976 to get smokers to quit for one day and make a plan to quit for good. For more information on help quitting, Allegany County residents can contact ACASA’s Community Educator Ann Weaver at (585) 593-1920 x713 or the New York State Quitline.
Reality Check, a teen-led, adult-run program, educates the community on youth smoking and vaping, the deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry, and how policies can change social norms around tobacco sales and use.
For more information on Reality Check, visit www.realitycheckofny.com.
About Tobacco-Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany
Tobacco-Free Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany is funded through the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control and is a part of Tobacco-Free Western New York, managed by Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Learn more about Tobacco-Free Western New York at tobaccofreewny.com.