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The Journal Gazette

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Thursday, August 29, 2019 3:58 pm

Indiana leaders plan education, media initiatives against e-cigarettes

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana leaders announced a multi-faceted prevention program against teen vaping today that will include an education piece for students, parents and educators as well as a media blitz against e-cigarettes. 

“Part of it is just the awareness that what we are peddling and what we are sharing and getting people addicted to is harmful so this is a full court press and it starts today,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said. 

But taxing vape products and changing the age to buy them are discussions for a later day, he said. 

Holcomb and State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box held a press conference at Fishers High School surrounded by teenagers. National research shows that nearly 40 percent of high school students have vaped in the past year. 

The 2018 Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey shows that vaping has increased nearly 400 percent in Indiana high school students since 2012. Data also now shows that vaping often leads to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes. 

Box promised a media blitz, which is estimated to cost $2.1 million. 

“We are going to make sure we touch every bit of social media because that is exactly what Juul has done and the e-cigarette people have done so we have to match that,” she said. 

Juul is the most popular vaping product. 

Indiana is using the CATCH My Breath best-practices youth e-cigarette and Juul prevention program developed by the University of Texas. It provides up-to-date information to teachers, parents and health professionals to give students the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. 

nkelly@jg.net