(LOUISIVLLE, Ky - October 31, 2019) Kentucky students will lead a community conversation with Mayor Greg Fischer and several expert panelists about the epidemic of e-cigarette use, or “vaping,” among youth from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6, at the duPont Manual High School Auditorium.

Students will share what they experience daily in school and in their social circles during the meeting, which also will include an up-close look at the vaping products available on the market today and how they are marketed to kids. The meeting will conclude with a robust conversation on the immediate and longer-term steps that local groups can take to protect kids’ health. Students, parents and guardians, educators, coaches, lawmakers, health care providers and the faith community from the Greater Louisville region and beyond are encouraged to attend and ask questions.

More than one in four high school seniors and one in seven 8th graders in Kentucky used e-cigarettes in 2018, according to the Kentucky Incentives for Prevention survey. Those were about double the rates in 2016. Beyond the high nicotine levels in e-cigarettes that can damage the developing brains of teens and young adults, research also shows that teen e-cig users are more likely to start smoking regular cigarettes.

Middle schooler Claire Ramsey will emcee the meeting. Mayor Fischer will be joined by Metro Louisville Public Health Director Sarah Moyer, M.D., Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky CEO Ben Chandler, Envirome Institute Director Aruni Bhatnagar, M.D., JCPS Superintendent Dr. Pollio and Health Services Director Eva Stone, pediatrician Patricia Purcell, M.D., and allergy specialist Douglas Lotz, M.D. The meeting is hosted by community partners the American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Jefferson County Public Schools, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Kentucky Youth Advocates, Metro Louisville Department of Public Health and Wellness, and YMCA of Greater Louisville. Partners will use the hashtag #VapeFreeTeen to publicize the event.

Questions about the event may be directed to Tracy Monks, 502-371-6019

Media questions can be directed to:
Shannon Smith
American Heart Association
State Government Relations Director

Shannon Baker
American Lung Association in Kentucky
Director, Advocacy KY, TN, AR