In a news release from the Mills County Public Health Agency:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 1.5 million more current youth e-cigarette users in 2018 than 2017. E-cigarette use increased from 11.7% to 20.8% among high school students and 3.3% to 4.9% among middle school students. Mills County reminds residents e-cigarettes, electronic smoking devices, JUULs, vapes, whatever you call them – are not harmless.
According to the CDC, 99% of e-cigarettes contain nicotine and many youth are unaware of this – they think they’re a safe alternative to “regular” cigarettes. They are not. Nicotine is highly addictive and young people can become addicted to e-cigarettes as easily as traditional cigarettes. Nicotine has been shown to harm adolescent brain development, which continues until the early to mid-20's.
“Parents need to talk to their kids about e-cigarettes and make it clear they are not safe,” said Mills County Public Health Director Sheri Bowen. “The ‘fun’ flavors and availability of electronic smoking devices leaves the impression they are safe for kids. They are not.”
Quitline Iowa is a free resource for all Iowans aged 13 and older. A tailored quit plan can be created for users of any type of nicotine – from chewing tobacco to cigarettes to e-cigarettes. Benefits of Quitline include:
- Free and confidential
- Users may be eligible for free Nicotine Replacement Therapy
- Trained Quit Coaches
Mills County residents can take advantage of the program by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), or visiting www.quitlineiowa.org to enroll. Registration specialists and Quit Coaches® are available 24 hours a day. Mills County youth can help educate their peers about the dangers of tobacco and e-cigarettes by joining their local chapter of Iowa Students for Tobacco Education (ISTEP) or creating a chapter of their own. Learn more about ISTEP at https://IowaSTEP.org.