e-cigarettes

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With vaping rates quadrupling among Kentucky teens, the Coalition for A Smoke-Free Tomorrow is holding a news conference and rally Tuesday at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.

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The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is confirming three reports of severe pulmonary illness are likely caused by vaping and it is investigating 11 more suspected cases. That's up from six suspected cases the agency reported less than two weeks ago.

Come next year, Kentucky lawmakers will be asked to enact an excise tax on electronic cigarettes. The proposal calls for a tax on vaping products and e-cigs at the same level as traditional cigarettes.

A new service launched by the Ohio Department of Health this month offers free, confidential help for people under 18 who are trying to stop using e-cigarettes and tobacco – a growing issue that the Surgeon General is calling an epidemic.

The “My Life, My Quit” initiative is an outgrowth of the Ohio Tobacco Quit phone line for adults. But the new program for teens offers help over the phone, by text or online.

Cigarette smoking has declined among middle and high school students for years. But now, e-cigarette sales are rising, with young people using them at epidemic rates. Public health officials are concerned about the impact – including exposure to addictive nicotine.

An estimated 21 percent of Hoosiers smoke – one of the highest smoking rates in the country. 

But of the nine bills related to smoking, cigarettes, and e-liquids introduced at the Statehouse this session, only two are moving forward. 

vaping
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A new study finds vaping of e-cigarettes among teens is up dramatically. The survey of substance use among high school students shows 21 percent of seniors have recently vaped, compared to 11 percent just a year prior.

The leader of a health advocacy group says Kentucky isn’t investing enough in the prevention of cancer. 

Ben Chandler, President and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, says many of the state’s cancer cases are related to smoking.  In a speech to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday, Chandler said the state isn’t doing enough to curb the habit. 

The Foundation wants a higher tax on cigarettes.  While the General Assembly raised the tax this year by 50 cents, Chandler says that’s not enough to make people kick the habit. 

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An ancient practice of southeast Asia is gaining popularity among college and high school students in the United States. While cigarette smoking is on the decline, Hookah bars and cafes are proliferating around college campuses. In a hookah water pipe, tobacco is mixed with glycerin and flavorings then heated.

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Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will regulate electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, the same way it regulates traditional tobacco products. Many smokers turn to e-cigarettes to stop smoking; despite some claims of effectiveness, there are still concerns, as the health risks of e-cigarettes are largely unknown.

Karen Kasler/Ohio Public Radio

As electronic cigarettes are becoming more popular, the numbers of medical crises involving the liquid nicotine refills they use are rising dramatically. These emergencies have sparked a bipartisan effort to crack down on the products.

E-cigarettes use containers of liquid nicotine, and some are easy to open, often with screw-on caps.