State’s public health chief is sounding the alarm over youth vaping

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Published: 07/28/2022 16:52:51

Nearly 34% of New Hampshire high school students and 50% of 12th grade boys have vaped, enough to make youth vaping a “huge public health crisis,” the state health chief said Wednesday. State to Executive Councillors.

“We know we’ve heard from teachers, coaches, parents, everyone saying it’s a huge problem because we know that with vaping, if you’re using tobacco or nicotine products, you are just as likely to be addicted for a lifetime,” said Trish Tilley. , director of the division of public health services to health and social services. “Studies have consistently shown that if you start smoking and using addictive tobacco products at (age) 13, 14, you’re really setting yourself up for lifelong addiction.”

Tilley made the remarks while asking the board to add $75,000 to a $440,000 contract with JSI Research & Training Institute in Bow for a campaign to promote vaping prevention and treatment to tweens and teens. . The board accepted by a vote of 5-0.

Data on vaping use comes from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, an anonymous questionnaire that House Republicans have sought to weaken this year.

The survey asks high school students about their exposure to substances, sexual activity, abuse and bullying, and home life. Law enforcement, child advocates, and public health officials use the results to prioritize public health efforts and seek grants.

In a vote of 183 to 164 in March, the House passed a bill requiring parents to allow their child to take the test rather than asking them to withdraw their child, a change that opponents say would have significantly reduced turnout and skewed the results. The bill died when members of the House refused to agree to Senate demands that it remain excluded.

Tilley said the state expects to have data from the 2021 survey soon. The 2019 results and 2021 questions can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services website by searching for “Survey on young people’s risky behaviors.

The additional funding approved by the board will go towards training and technical assistance for tobacco and nicotine addiction treatment providers.

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