DULUTH, MN– Here and across the country, more young people are getting sick, even dying because of vaping.
The CDC has confirmed 805 cases nationwide of patients with lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use. 12 of them have died, including one person in Minnesota.
Friday, a hospital in Duluth educated local health leaders on the best ways to tackle the problem.
Assessing the scope of youth tobacco use, that was the goal of a panel addressing a growing crisis.
“The FDA, Surgeon General, CDC coined this an epidemic among youth,” says Jill Doberstein a Tobacco Treatment Program Supervisor at Essentia.
The panel — called “Vaping: The Epidemic Gripping Today’s Teens in Addiction” — was hosted by Essentia Health and shed some light on how rapidly the issue is growing.
Doberstein says, “the big news last year was we saw a 78-percent increase in youth vaping.”
Advertisers have gotten a lot of blame for the problem growing out of control.
but experts say it goes beyond that. “The FDA has some responsibility around flavored e-cigarettes. We know that’s how kids are getting hooked on these products,” says Doberstein.
Sharing ideas to slow the rise of vaping and the health problems it’s causing.
“Things like raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21, regulating where and how flavored tobacco that entices kids are sold, those are some of the most affect public health campaigns to prevent this epidemic from getting any bigger,” says Doberstein.
Essentia offers toolkits on its website for teachers and health officials to better educate students and patients on the dangers of vaping.