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The Center for Disease Control announced a huge increase in e-cigarette use among American youth. In just one year, e-cigarette use skyrocketed 48 percent among middle school students, and 78 percent among high school students.

This news is troubling to me as a concerned citizen. E-cigarette use is dangerous to the health of youth. Nicotine can have long term effects on developing brains including mood disorders and addiction. E-cigarettes are also known to contain chemicals such as diacetyl, which is known to cause irreversible lung damage.

To anyone that has a child in middle school or high school, this news may not be surprising. The e-cigarette brand Juul has a lot of popularity with this age group. Juul looks like flash drives, making them easy to conceal, and come in kid-appealing flavors such as fruit medley, mango, and more. E-cigarette use in school has gotten serious enough that the Federal Drug Administration’s Real Cost Campaign has started placing vaping prevention posters in school bathrooms.

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Learn more at tobaccoischanging.com. If your school is interested in local help updating their school policies for these new products or educating staff and parents, contact SCW Tobacco Free Coalition at 608-847-9373.

Emily Sheffield, South Central Wisconsin Tobacco Free Coalition, Mauston

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