(WKBN) – Lately, we’ve been talking a lot about the potential dangers of vaping. On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health announced new initiatives to prevent and reduce vaping in kids and teens.
The ODH is pushing to educate kids and parents about the dangers of the habit.
ODH Director Amy Acton said last year saw a 48% increase in vaping among middle schoolers and a 78% increase in high schoolers.
The new initiatives include:
– A letter to Ohio school districts, encouraging them to prohibit vaping and warn communities about the dangers.
– Investment of $3.3 million to develop and promote tools and resources that community groups, parents and administrators have access to.
– Investment of $800,000 in public campaigns targeting youth and parents.
Acton said vape companies are intentionally targeting the next generation of young people to get addicted to nicotine products.
“We now know that we have ten cases in Ohio that have been confirmed and those are young people ranging in age from 16 to 26 that have been hospitalized. We have 14 more illnesses that have been reported that we are investigating.”
Ohio’s new law prohibiting the sale of tobacco including vaping products to anyone under 21 takes effect on October 17.