New studies show increase in nicotine use among youth

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- A new study from the Cleveland Health Clinic of more than 150,000 middle and high schoolers about e-cigarette usage, shows an increase in the intensity at which they use their vapes, which could cost teens their health in the future.

Health experts say less than 1% of surveyed middle and high schoolers used their vapes within the first 5 minutes of waking up.

That number jumped to 10.3% from 2017-2021 and is likely even higher now.

The American Lung Association also recently released its 21st annual State of Tobacco Control Report Card, which Indiana received low ratings on.

The state received an ‘F’ in tobacco prevention and control funding, tobacco taxes and flavored tobacco products. It got a ‘C’ for smoke free air and a ‘D’ in access to cessation services.

This new upward trend is cause for concern as it leads towards what can be referred to as an addiction cycle.

Saint Joseph Health systems says St. Joe and Marshall Counties are working to combat this cycle with a youth coalition group, aiming to encourage peers to stop using nicotine.

VOICE is Indiana’s statewide youth empowerment brand, engaging, educating and empowering teens to live a tobacco free lifestyle.

The voice action squad is a group of youth leaders that help make sure voice is putting out messages that will relate to and effectively reach a fellow teenaged audience.

Squad members are 13 to 18 years old provide peer to peer connection, encouraging other teens their age to join them in living vape and nicotine free.

Anyone interested in being an action squad member in St. Joe or Marshall Counties can go to voice Indiana’s website to learn more and apply.

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