The rapid increase of e-cigarette use, or vaping, among youth is a serious issue. In fact, the FDA and the U.S. Surgeon General have declared youth vaping a nationwide epidemic. Parents and educators in Duval County are rightfully concerned.
At Tobacco-Free Jacksonville, we are working with the Bureau of Tobacco-Free Florida on the E-Epidemic: Vaping and Youth initiative to help provide parents and educators in Duval County with the latest facts on youth vaping. In 2020, a little more than one in four Florida high school students reported trying a vaping device. In Duval County alone, 17.1% of high school youth report currently using cigarettes, cigars, hookah, smokeless tobacco, or vaping device.
E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine, which is highly addictive. Nicotine exposure can harm the developing brain by affecting parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. Brain development continues into the early to mid-20s. This highlights the reasoning why it is so important to speak with youth about the dangers of using these devices.
JUUL is the most popular e-cigarette brand among youth. This device is shaped like a USB drive, making it easy to conceal. In fact, it’s even being used in school bathrooms. The JUUL comes in a variety of flavors and delivers high levels of nicotine.
Tobacco-Free Jacksonville is concerned about the public health implications of this trend and is committed to addressing this epidemic in our community. The Duval County Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) chapter are working in partnership with Tobacco-Free Jacksonville to address these issues in our community. If you are interested in joining Tobacco-Free Jacksonville or have youth ages 11-17 that are interested in joining the Duval County SWAT Chapter, please visit tobaccofreejacksonville.org for more information.
We want to ensure that accurate information about youth vaping is getting into the hands of residents in our area. Help spread the facts in our community. You can also help by talking to your kids or students about the serious concerns around vaping and nicotine addiction. For more information, please visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/eepidemic.
Editor’s Note: The Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida and Tobacco-Free Jacksonville are charged with addressing tobacco products, but we feel it is important to note that e-cigarette devices, including JUUL and products that resemble JUUL, can be used to deliver marijuana. Our information and resources focus on e-cigarette devices that deliver nicotine.
About Tobacco-Free Jacksonville
Tobacco-Free Jacksonville promotes a tobacco-free atmosphere for Duval County residents, to improve the health of Duval County residents and all Floridians.