Marin civil grand jury calls for crack down on vape epidemic

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With youth vaping on the rise, the grand jury in a new report recommends well being officials and educators enhance countywide initiatives to avoid the use of electronic cigarettes.

“Marin County is in the midst of a well being crisis regarding its youth — vaping,” the grand jury says in the report, “Vaping: An Below-the-Radar Epidemic.”

“Vaping amongst Marin County seventh, ninth, and 11th graders has extra than doubled in the previous two years, with 47% of 11th graders admitting to obtaining vaped,” the report states. “As negative as these numbers are, they may well in fact be greater, as teens notoriously below-report on these varieties of surveys.”

To combat the vaping epidemic, the report suggests a 4-pronged strategy that incorporates limiting the availability of flavored tobacco, educating students, teachers and parents, enforcing flavored tobacco sales bans and supporting students who currently have an addiction to nicotine.

“The grand jury is highlighting an location that I completely agree with — we have to have to do extra,” mentioned Mary Jane Burke, Marin County superintendent of schools, who referred to as it “not just a college challenge, it is a neighborhood challenge.”

“It will be a collaborative work countywide that I think will make the distinction,” she mentioned.

Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County public well being officer, mentioned the well being division and the county Workplace of Education have teamed up to educate kids and parents. Willis mentioned with the grand jury’s recommendation he plans to double down.

“The true answer is a mixture of education and policy adjustments,” he mentioned. “Raising awareness of the challenge and sending a clear message that vaping is damaging, specifically for young persons.”

E-cigarettes, also identified as vapes, are battery-operated devices that heat up liquid nicotine to produce an aerosol that customers inhale.

Youth vaping has been a increasing challenge more than the previous couple of years with the advent of sleek vaporizer devices that resemble computer system flash drives. These devices have turn out to be even extra well-liked due to the fruity and candy-flavored pods filled with nicotine. Marin middle and higher college students are reportedly vaping in class, in college bathrooms, locker rooms, in their automobiles through lunch breaks and close to campus.

Citing a 2018 survey by the Centers for Illness Handle and Prevention, the grand jury report says four.9 million kids across the nation had been employing e-cigarettes.

“Tobacco use had been declining in current years,” the report says. “That trend has been reversed with the improved use of vaping items.”

Bob Curry, head of the county’s tobacco-connected illness manage system, agreed with the grand jury. He said that with Altria, the parent group of Philip Morris, investing nearly $13 billion in Juul comes be concerned about a new generation of youth who will be lured to vaporizers and turn out to be addicted to nicotine.

While some argue that vaping can be a cessation tool, Jasmine Gerraty, a youth prevention and intern coordinator for the Smoke-Free of charge Marin Coalition, mentioned it appears that the devices have turn out to be extra of a gateway to smoking.

“We think that these items have negatively introduced nicotine to a population of customers who had been not at present employing these items just before,” she mentioned.

There has been a push to ban the sale of flavored tobacco items across the state.

So far, the county of Marin, Larkspur, Fairfax, Sausalito, San Anselmo and Corte Madera have authorized comparable bans of flavored tobacco. Bans in Fairfax and Novato do not apply to menthol-flavored items. The grand jury calls for the remaining cities and towns to adopt the flavor ban, and requests that Fairfax and Novato amend their bans to add menthol.

With the spotlight on Juul, the organization in 2018 launched a campaign to combat youth usage, such as suspending shop sales of pick flavored pods, and increases on line sale controls, amongst other actions.

On its web-site, the organization says, “JUUL Labs is committed to enhancing the lives of the world’s 1 billion adult smokers by offering a accurate option to combustible cigarettes. We do not want youth employing our item. It is antithetical to our mission.”

The grand jury report is offered at bit.ly/2HKZ3Y7.

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