Tobacco Use Health Advisory in Alachua County

​This press release published at the request of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.

Both the FDA and the US Surgeon General’s office have officially recognized youth electronic cigarette use as an epidemic throughout the U.S. and have expressed the importance of implementing a regulatory process for e-cigarettes and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). In his statement on December 18, 2018, US Surgeon General Adams encouraged local authorities to implement strategies to combat the vaping epidemic.

Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. youth. The Florida Youth Tobacco Survey (FYTS) released new data for 2018, which revealed a dramatic 60% increase in e-cigarette use among youth in Alachua County since 2016. The rate of current youth (ages 11-17) e-cigarette use increased from 9.5 percent in 2016 to 15.1 percent in 2018.

A new e-cigarette product called JUUL could be mistaken as a USB flash drive and can contain more nicotine than a pack of cigarettes. Among current JUUL users, 63% did not know that this product always contains nicotine. Nicotine exposure through e-cigarettes can negatively impact learning, memory, and attention. This means decreased attention to school work and testing abilities. Youth e-cigarette users are also significantly more likely to transition to traditional combustible tobacco products, such as cigarettes, and many will suffer from a lifetime of addiction to tobacco.

The US Surgeon General’s report detailed different ways to take action on this issue. He encourages parents, teachers, and health professionals, as well as states, communities, tribes, and territories to align their efforts toward the same goal of protecting the nation’s young people from the many devastating health effects of e-cigarettes and all other tobacco products.

View the E-cigarette Use among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General.

Communities and businesses that are interested in going tobacco free, should contact Tobacco Free Alachua at 352-334-7914 or tobaccofreealachua@flhealth.gov.

For more information, contact Ryan McGuire at 352-334-7914 or Ryan.McGuire@flhealth.gov.

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