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A Message from the Governor and Resources About E-Cigarettes

11/15/2019

The use of e-cigarettes by youth has skyrocketed to epidemic proportions both in Wisconsin and nationally. Twenty percent of Wisconsin high school students reported currently using e-cigarettes, up from around 8% in the 2014 Youth Tobacco Survey. Youth are attracted to these products’ flavors – 89% of Wisconsin high school students say they wouldn’t try an unflavored tobacco product. 

One product increasingly popular with teens is an e-cigarette that resembles a flash drive. They are easy to conceal and contain as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. They emit limited odor, and their aerosol quickly dissipates. These features make the products easier for kids to use in school.

Nearly all e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is particularly harmful to adolescent brains because they are still developing, and nicotine affects the parts of the brain that control learning, memory, and attention. E-cigarette use by young people also increases the likelihood of conventional cigarette use and addiction to other substances.

Wisconsin is also one of several states in recent months to see a rash of vaping-related lung disease cases, with most of the cases involving youth and young adults. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is investigating the issue, but it’s all the more reason to take teen e-cigarette use seriously.

Governor Tony Evers has shared some resources with families and schools that we thought you might find helpful. Click here for a list of resources and contact your child's school counselor if you have any questions.