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Nicotine addiction is an epidemic

By Charlotte Smith

Bladen County Schools held a Youth and Vaping 101 Community forum this week to help educate teachers, parents and students about the rising issues with vaping. Smoking costs North Carolina $3.81 billion per year in healthcare costs, according to Travis Greer, with the NC Youth Tobacco Prevention, who led the presentation.

Greer started the community forum on Tuesday evening at the Board of Education with talking points about the health risks involved by smoking to smokers, to those who are around smokers and the damages to the environment by smoking.

Adult smoking has decreased in North Carolina. In 1945, the smokers made up about 50 percent of the population which dropped down to 17.9 percent in 2017. However, Electronic Nicotine Devices (also known as END) users and vaping are on the rise, according to Greer. In fact, there are more people purchasing products such as Hamilton Devices CCELL than ever before.. Vaping is a method that many people who consider giving up smoking try out. From there being a large selection of electronic cigarettes to buy in Australia, to finding various products and accessories online, vaping is something that doesn’t look like it is going anywhere anytime soon.

The Surgeon General calls the rise in nicotine addiction an epidemic, according to Greer. E-cigarette products are considered tobacco products because the nicotine is created from tobacco, Greer added.

Bladen County Schools did participate in the NC Youth Tobacco Survey. Greer presented a photo of the many types of nicotine devices that have been confiscated from Bladen County students.

According to studies Greer presented, the use of ENDs has grown to 15.1 percent in Bladen County while the national percentage increased to 20.8 percent in 2018.

JUUL is the most popular one of the END products. There are 10,000 to 15,000 different flavors offered for END products.

Greer gave many examples of what teachers and parents can look for when they suspect students are vaping. The photos in this article show the different types of END products. Many of the products look like typical electronic devices such as thumb drives.

Valerie Newton, Public Relations Director with Bladen County Schools, said there were two take aways she would like to leave with parents and students. Number one is for parents to be aware of what your children have and what the products are for vaping. Secondly, for the students to know vaping can be addictive and can damage your health.

For assistance on quitting tobacco contact or call 1-800-quit-now.

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