Health District informs youth about the dangers of e-cigarettes

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - The number of young people buying e-cigarettes is on the rise in Wichita Falls. So, The Wichita Falls - Wichita County Public Health District is trying to inform them about the affects products like JUULs have on the body.

JUULs are small, sleek, and electronic. They look like USB drives and come in flavors like crème brûlée and mango. They are currently the bestselling e-cigarette on the market.

Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist Amanda Kennedy says JUULs are more harmful than every other e-cigarette out there.

She said, "Now they're actually using tobacco salt. So, it's changing and making the nicotine levels higher in e-cigarettes."

One e-liquid pod has the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.

While the JUULs website sets an age limit on who can purchase the product, Kennedy says that kids can put in any age and there is no real verification that blocks them.

A spokesperson from JUULs reached out with a statement that said:

"JUUL Labs' mission is to eliminate cigarette smoking by offering existing adult smokers a true alternative to combustible cigarettes. JUUL is not intended for anyone else. We strongly condemn the use of our product by minors, and it is in fact illegal to sell our product to minors. No minor should be in possession of a JUUL product.

Our goal is to further reduce the number of minors who possess or use tobacco products, including vapor products, and to find ways to keep young people from ever trying these products. We approach this with a combination of education, enforcement, technology and partnership with others who are focused on this issue, including lawmakers, educators and our business partners."

Kennedy also said most kids she talks with think e-cigarettes just contain water vapor and don't have any nicotine. She wants to bust that myth.

She's working with The Youth Tobacco Prevention Control Coalition (YTPCC) to inform young people throughout the community.

Alex Sanderson, the vice president of YTPCC says it's important his peers know the dangers now before it's too late, "…they're so young, they need to know before they get addicted."

The Health District and YTPCC will be hosting a smartphone film festival where people can enter films about the dangers of tobacco. Entries must be submitted by March 21 and the festival will be held on March 31. To learn more, click here.

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