(LOUISVILLE, Ky - February 11, 2019) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today released the report, Vital Signs: Tobacco Product Use Among Middle and High School Students - United States, 2011-2018. The report shows that 27.1 percent of high schools students and 7.2 percent middle school students used some kind of tobacco product in 2018. While Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced last November that e-cigarette use had dramatically increased among youth, this latest report shows that youth e-cigarette use also has significantly driven up youth use of any tobacco product. Following is a statement from Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which has advocated for HB 11 and SB 27, bills that would make all Kentucky schools tobacco free:
"The explosion in teen vaping in just the last year has now erased all the progress health advocates had made in cutting teen tobacco use since 2011. More than one in four high schoolers now use some kind of tobacco product; for most of them, it's e-cigarettes. And more than one in 10 high schoolers are dual users - they're usually smoking and vaping both. The growth in middle school vaping also has driven up tobacco use among these adolescents - to one in 14 kids.
"Left unchecked, this massive increase will lead to tens of thousands of preventable deaths down the road for today's kids, not to mention years of unnecessary suffering with debilitating tobacco-related disease. We applaud Rep. Kim Moser and Sen. Ralph Alvarado for introducing bills to make Kentucky school campuses 100 percent tobacco-free. We urge their colleagues to take this important step in preventing tobacco exposure at school. Tobacco stunts brain development, impairs learning and reduces impulse control. It has no place in our kids' schools."
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About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested nearly $28 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
Bonnie J. Hackbarth