As young people head back into the classroom after much of a year of virtual learning, school districts and parents are working together to maximize the safety of the entire school community by instituting effective safety protocols related to COVID-19. Another safety issue that shouldn’t be overlooked is the risk posed by peer exposure to tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
Pre-COVID, youth rates of e-cigarette use were at an epidemic high in NYS; preliminary data suggests that those rates fell during 2020 and we want to keep them headed in that direction. It is as important as ever for school communities to respond to youth tobacco use as rigorously as they have in the past.
As of May 2020, New York State ended the retail sale of flavored vape products, including mint and menthol flavors, a step that significantly restricts youth access to these products. Parents and schools also play an important role in keeping these products out of the hands of kids.
For more information, including resources for parents, teens and educators, visit Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.