COLORADO – The Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration disclosed on Thursday that he’s working towards banning menthol or any flavoring in cigarettes and cigars, and tightening rules on flavored versions of e-cigarettes.
Scott Gottlieb the move is aimed at reducing smoking in people underage who choose flavored products as they start the unhealthy habit. Overall the goal is to continue the decline of smoking rates in the U.S.
Teen vaping in Colorado is becoming an epidemic as recent studies show our state leads the nation in the number of young people using e-cigarettes. School administrators across Southern Colorado are trying to figure out how to stop students from vaping on campus and even inside classrooms. We obtained a letter sent from the Liberty High School principal to parents. It says at least one student a day is caught vaping on their campus and you may want to talk to your kids.
As students walk to and from classes in Southern Colorado school administrators say many of them are carrying more than books in their bags. E-cigarettes and vape pens are making appearances on campus.
“I think if you talk to principals across the region and probably across the state they will all say we’ve definitely seen an increase in this behavior with kids vaping and vaping at sporting events or vaping at after school activities, or even trying to vape on campus,” said Director of Communication for District 20 Allison Cortez.
Doctor Grace Houser of Children’s Hospital Colorado says vaping devices and e-cigarettes are ending up in the hands of teens and sometimes they are difficult for parents or teachers to find.
“We do see that teens are able to access these products either in stores or online. There are specific products like a pod e-cigarette called Juul that produce almost no vapor and are very easily hid from parents and from teachers,” said Dr. Houser.
According to our state nearly 27-percent of Colorado’s high school students are vaping. Medical experts say that’s a problem because it is impacting brain development in our teens.
“Just their ability to pay attention, their memory and other functions that are very important for school,” said Dr. Houser.
As schools try to educate their parents and students about the dangers of vaping doctors say toddlers are getting into these devices too, ending up in the hospital.
“From drinking the liquid that is supposed to be used in an electronic cigarette device,” said Dr. Houser.
District 20 is being proactive on this issue and will be holding a parent academy in February to help get parents up to speed on everything then need to know about vaping and it’s impact on our youth.