E-cigarette use was biggest concern at Northern Virginia Tobacco Control Summit

Virginia

The Fairfax County Public School system recently polled its 12th grade students and found that about a quarter of them were smoking tobacco using e-cigarettes.

FAIRFAX, Va. (WDVM) — Each year, the Virginia Tobacco Control Program hosts a summit with Northern Virginia localities (from as north as Arlington and Alexandria to as south as Prince William) to share research, and brainstorm prevention and advocacy efforts.

Coordinator Shannon Raines says last spring, vaping was just a footnote in 2018’s summit. This year, as vaping-related illness and deaths are on the rise, the topic took a front seat. The Fairfax County Public School system recently polled its 12th-grade students and found that about a quarter of them were smoking tobacco using e-cigarettes.

“Vapes contain nicotine, which comes from tobacco, and so they’re starting this product where they may have never initiated traditional tobacco use to begin with,” said Raines.

Raines says Tuesday’s summit equipped its attendees with strategies to apply to their jobs — and in their communities and families — to start conversations about tobacco and its harmful effects.

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