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Public health officials warn of increased use of nicotine-based products among teens

The CDC is calling the increase an epidemic among school-aged children

Posted: Nov 26, 2018 4:16 PM
Updated: Nov 27, 2018 6:35 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (FOX 55) - The most recent National Youth Tobacco Survey from the Center for Disease Control reveals that tobacco use among high schoolers has increased to over 27% in 20518 with over 7% of middle schoolers using tobacco products, which include e-cigarettes.

Now health officials are making sure area teens make healthier choices. Local public health officials met today at McMillan Health Center to discuss how to help fight the battle.

Dr. Tony GiaQuinta, President of the Indiana American Academy of Pediatrics, said "we’re seeing a whole new challenge, a new epidemic."

Epidemic is how the CDC and other health officials around the country have described the increase in use of nicotine-based products among teens.

The CDC shows use of e-cigarettes has increased 78% from last year among high schoolers and 48% among middle school students.

The use of nicotine has been scientifically proven to be harmful, especially to younger people.

Dr. GiaQuinta explained "the brain does not stop developing until it’s about 25 years old and the plasticity of the brain, the ability of the brain to mold, continues to evolve over those first 25 years. Nicotine is harmful for that development."

This means that if you use nicotine while younger, your attention span will decrease as will your ability to make good decisions as you get older.

Mcmillan Health CEO Holli Seabury says public health officials have done well to lower traditional tobacco use among teens to historic lows, but the game has changed with introduction of e-cigarettes.

"Cigarette companies aren’t allowed to advertise cigarettes anymore, but along come the e-cigarettes and they don’t have those restrictions and they advertise like crazy and a lot of it is aimed towards other young people," said Seabury.

And you wouldn’t be to blame if you didn’t recognize some of the nicotine-based products because they look like normal food and drinks.

Nancy Cripe of Tobacco Free Allen County says parents need to pay very close attention to what their child has because the devices are now concealable and smell free, and cripe believes e-cigarettes should be restricted even further for children’s safety.

Cripe said "we need to do away with their access to these products. Make it much more difficult for them to walk into a gas station and purchase them or get a friend to walk into a gas station to purchase them. They should be much less widely available and i think that we need to do away with all the flavors."

But one of the most important tools is the message put out by parents at home according to Seabury.

She said, "parents have a lot of control over this and by opening the conversation and being a source of information and support for your child, we can turn this epidemic around."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 918230

Reported Deaths: 15011
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1252491952
Lake623371084
Allen52301746
Hamilton43009443
St. Joseph41155584
Elkhart32831485
Vanderburgh29698436
Tippecanoe26442247
Johnson23106414
Hendricks21708338
Porter21255340
Clark16988222
Madison16899378
Vigo15562272
Monroe14186190
LaPorte13961235
Delaware13613215
Howard13531258
Kosciusko11150134
Hancock10534159
Warrick10431174
Bartholomew10233166
Floyd10099202
Wayne9557216
Grant8858194
Morgan8654158
Boone8231109
Dubois7521123
Henry7391126
Dearborn734186
Noble7208100
Marshall7168127
Cass7060117
Lawrence6803150
Jackson638980
Shelby6386106
Gibson5999105
Harrison587984
Huntington586490
Montgomery5663101
DeKalb555691
Knox532999
Miami523183
Clinton522464
Putnam519067
Whitley509851
Steuben480267
Wabash470192
Jasper465760
Jefferson456091
Ripley439074
Adams435565
Daviess4008106
Scott389563
White383457
Decatur376895
Clay376455
Greene375589
Wells375183
Fayette363074
Posey351841
Jennings341756
Washington324046
LaGrange312074
Spencer310734
Fountain306553
Randolph302087
Sullivan294947
Owen275961
Orange269659
Starke268961
Fulton264451
Jay248134
Perry244950
Carroll239926
Franklin229337
Vermillion225850
Rush225530
Parke212020
Tipton205354
Pike200938
Blackford163834
Pulaski155250
Crawford140818
Benton138316
Newton138141
Brown130646
Martin124416
Switzerland122310
Warren112616
Union92211
Ohio75811
Unassigned0461

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1319265

Reported Deaths: 21265
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1480641537
Cuyahoga1311202313
Hamilton948871307
Montgomery647451122
Summit548531041
Lucas49502853
Butler45993649
Stark39954963
Lorain30438525
Warren29170326
Mahoning25988629
Clermont24726278
Lake24088411
Delaware21722140
Licking19822239
Fairfield19780218
Greene19671266
Medina19208285
Trumbull19195506
Clark17188321
Portage15585224
Richland15540228
Wood15187208
Allen13654254
Miami13283244
Muskingum11821148
Wayne11448234
Columbiana11100239
Tuscarawas10388264
Marion10273144
Pickaway10162128
Scioto9766124
Erie9479170
Ross8979172
Lawrence8225116
Hancock8105140
Ashtabula8083184
Geauga7976155
Belmont7791183
Jefferson7093168
Huron7087125
Union703549
Washington6823116
Athens666163
Sandusky6608132
Darke6394135
Knox6308120
Seneca6113135
Auglaize569888
Ashland5631110
Shelby555799
Mercer545188
Brown533067
Defiance5278100
Madison527368
Crawford5148113
Highland514876
Fulton508781
Clinton505379
Logan494582
Preble4788110
Putnam4733106
Guernsey439057
Williams437281
Champaign426463
Ottawa425783
Perry414051
Jackson402259
Pike367140
Morrow359149
Fayette353951
Coshocton345064
Hardin341868
Adams338864
Gallia329254
Holmes3148107
Henry312668
Van Wert299269
Hocking280467
Wyandot271858
Carroll250451
Paulding231742
Meigs197842
Monroe178649
Noble160340
Morgan153528
Harrison145740
Vinton130217
Unassigned05
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