JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Jacksonville city leaders and Daily’s are launching a campaign aimed at cracking down on underage vaping. The hope is to make middle and high school students aware of the dangers of vaping.
This campaign comes as U.S. Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, says vaping has become a nationwide “epidemic”. Both the city and Daily’s have pledged $100,000 apiece. In a news conference scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, city leaders are expected to explain how the money will be used.
City Councilman Ron Salem is a pharmacist and is helping to lead the local discussion. Last month, he shared his concerns with News4jax reporter Ashley Harding
“We’ve got teenagers that are using this routinely. And we’ve had a couple of deaths in the state of Florida,” Salem said. “Roughly a third of our teenagers are using these products,” Salem said.
The most recent vaping restriction, implemented by the United States Food and Drug Administration, banned most flavored e-cigarette products. Officials say they appeal to kids and young people.
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 9.5% of 8th graders admitted to using e-cigarettes. That number jumped to 16.2% for high school seniors. The institute also found that twice as many boys as girls use e-cigarettes
The institute also said there is data that shows some teens who begin using e-cigarettes eventually turn to traditional cigarettes. It says more than 30% of teens who used e-cigarettes started smoking within 6 months. Here in Jacksonville, city leaders say the idea is to stop this problem before it gets worse.
Ron Salem will be joined by Mayor Lenny Curry and Daily’s president and CEO, Aubrey Edge, for the announcement. It is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Tuesday at Jacksonville’s City Hall.
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