Letter to the editor: The dangers of e-cigarette use among our youth
Halloween is just around the corner, and while costumes, decorations, and horror movies are sure to generate scares, there is a new trend that is 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 is news to celebrate. As conventional cigarette use falls, e-cigarette use is on the rise. Recently, Marshfield public and private schools participated in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The survey found that 26 percent of high school students reported using a vapor product within the last 30 days. This is more than double the 11 percent cigarette smoking rate in Wisconsin.
It is little wonder these products are attracting younger users, since many of them feature youth-friendly flavors like banana cream pie or chocolate peanut butter. Members of the Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition recently surveyed tobacco products in Marshfield stores and found most stores have sweet flavored e-cigarettes available on counter displays.
Accessibility of products, aggressive marketing, and candy flavoring tempt youth to try e-cigarettes. According to the National Youth Tobacco Survey, nonsmoking youths who use e-cigarettes are twice as likely as youths who do not use e-cigarettes to say they plan to start smoking cigarettes.
Thankfully, the Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition is working hard to help our youth avoid the frightful fate of tobacco and nicotine addiction. If you would like to help, you can learn more by visiting the coalition website at centralwitobaccofree.org. Free resources are also available to help tobacco users quit through 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition