Halloween is just around the corner and while scary pumpkins, costumes, and horror movies are sure to generate scares, there's a new trend that's even more terrifying: our young people are increasingly turning to new types of tobacco and nicotine products.
Wisconsin's teen smoking rates are currently at all-time lows, and that's news to celebrate! Unfortunately, as high school smoking rates hit lows of 11%, more teens are trying e-cigarettes (or vape pens) than ever before. The Wisconsin high school e-cigarette use rate is at 8%, according to the 2014 Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey.
Even more disturbing, a recent study out of Connecticut published in the Medical Journal of Pediatrics showed an estimated 18.7% of the 4,000 Connecticut youth surveyed had used e-cigarettes (or vape pens) to "vaporize" cannabis. More teens using marijuana in any form is a trend no parent, guardian, teacher, health care provider, etc. wants to see. Check out this radio interview and listen to the discussion.
There is little wonder why these products are attracting younger users, since many of them are trendy, electronic, and featuring kid-friendly flavors like gummy bear and cotton candy.
Partners throughout the Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network and members of our FACT groups have surveyed tobacco and nicotine products in counties in the MJC (Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and Winnebago counties). The results of the surveys found products ranging from little flavored cigars, chewing tobacco, and snus to e-cigarettes (or vape pens) and e-cigarette juices. All the products could be found in candy-like flavors.
Thankfully, the Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network and coalitions all around Wisconsin are out in the community working to help our kids avoid the frightful fate of tobacco and nicotine addiction. Stay in touch with the recent happenings in tobacco prevention by following our Facebook page!