Austin, Texas – Austin Public Health launched a safety campaign on Nov. 4 to educate the community about the dangers of e-cigarettes. In the last two months, 13 vaping-related illnesses have been reported in Austin/Travis County.
This campaign is reaching into the digital sphere to target the audiences currently targeted by e-cigarette companies – young adults. The campaign also educates parents of teens about e-cigarettes and how they can be difficult to spot, often looking like common school supplies or flash drives. According to the 2018 Texas Youth Tobacco Survey, 32.5% of Texas high school students and 11.3% of middle school students reported ever using an e-cigarette. Nationally, more youth than adults smoke e-cigarettes. It’s time for a change.
The e-cigarette industry spends approximately $125 million every year in advertising, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. This campaign by Austin Public Health cannot match corporate dollars, which is why we need the community’s help to further our messages and create a larger lasting impact. Share these videos and talk to your young family members about the facts:
- E-cigarettes are battery-operated products designed to deliver nicotine, flavors and other chemicals through a vapor or aerosol inhaled by the user. E-cigarette vapor is not harmless.
- Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.
- A common ingredient in e-cigarette flavoring is diacetyl. Diacetyl causes bronchiolitis obliterans, known as “popcorn lung.” It is the scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs, which causes thickening and narrowing of airways, leading to wheezing and shortness of breath.
- We don’t know what the long-term health consequences of vaping are and e-cigarettes are not approved cessation devices.
- Defective e-cigarette batteries have caused fires and explosions, some resulting in serious injuries and death.
- There has been a significant increase in the number of e-cigarette and liquid nicotine poison control cases.
Health officials still recommend avoiding e-cigarette use as the national investigation is ongoing.
To access videos for newscasts, visit https://www.youtube.com/user/tobaccofreeatx.
Live Tobacco-Free Austin, a program of Austin Public Health, promotes tobacco cessation resources, supports tobacco prevention efforts and helps create tobacco-free environments. For more information, visit www.LiveTobaccoFreeAustin.org/ECigarettes.