Raising awareness about danger of underage tobacco use and vaping by Berrien County Health Department

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. --This Winter, awareness for the dangers of underage tobacco uses and vaping is being brought by the Berrien County Health Department's substance use disorder prevention team.

To discourage community members under age 21 from using tobacco products, the Health Department's "Escape the Vape" campaign seeks to educate them on the effects of tobacco use and vaping.

This initiative will also provide resources for parents, as well as other adults to talk with children about tobacco and vaping.

The most common type of tobacco product used by teens is e-cigarettes, with 50% of Michigan high school students in 2019 reported to have tried e-cigarettes during their lifetime.

21% reported using electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 2021-2022 Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth discovered over 1 in 7 Berrien County teens had used an e-cigarette in the past month.

Vapes or e-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat a liquid to produce an aerosol or mix of tiny particles in the air, most composed of a battery, heating element and a place to hold liquid.

Coming in a variety of different sizes that maybe shaped like everyday items, like flash drives or pens, makes them difficult to spot.

Lots of young people, as much as 63%, don't know they contain nicotine, because of the composition and variety of flavors of e-cigarettes.

Since research is still new, individuals who vape are believed to expose themselves to a variety of health risks that won't be fully understood for years.

Parents can help reduce their child's risk by talking to them about the risk involved with vaping, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

To help parents and other adults start conversations with underage people in their life and tobacco, along with other substances, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has resources available.

To learn more about preventing underage tobacco use and vaping, visit bit.ly/EscapeTheVape or contact Lisa Peeples-Hurst at [email protected], or (269)927-5690.

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