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Press Release, Anderson County, TN, November 2018 – Teen vaping use has steadily increased over the past several years and has been declared an epidemic by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. The 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) indicates a 78 percent increase in e-cigarette use among high school students and a 48 percent increase among middle school students. States and counties across the country are seeing similar trends, including here in Anderson County. As part of their plan to prevent teen vaping, the FDA announced last week they are limiting the sale of sweet-flavored e-cigarettes to help decrease the incentive for youth to use the products. The FDA is banning the sale of all e-cigarette flavors other than tobacco, mint, and menthol in convenience stores and gas stations.[1] As a result, Juul Labs, who manufactures one of the most popular vaping devices, announced it will stop sales of certain flavored pods in more than 90,000 stores and will require additional age verification measures for online sales.

ASAP Youth Ambassadors at their Monthly Coalition Meeting

The ASAP Youth Ambassadors Coalition (or YAC) decided to focus on vaping awareness and education as their number one priority for this school year. ASAP of Anderson works with youth in Anderson County High School, Clinton High School, and Oak Ridge High School on substance misuse prevention. Youth Ambassadors are doing what their part to increase awareness of the harmful effects of nicotine and chemical compounds in vaping products and educate school faculty on how to identify vaping devices and use in the classroom and throughout the school day. Oak Ridge High School Ambassadors recently gave presentations to leadership faculty at Jefferson Middle School and Robertsville Middle School and will provide education and a video presentation to Oak Ridge High School faculty members as well. Clinton and Anderson County Ambassadors are working on setting up similar presentations to faculty in their high schools.

ORHS Ambassadors presenting to faculty at Jefferson Middle School

In addition, ASAP of Anderson will have our yearly Strategic Planning Meeting on December 3rd 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM at United Way of Anderson County. At this strategic meeting, ASAP follows the Strategic Prevention Framework, an evidence-based planning process for preventing substance use and misuse.[2] The effectiveness of the framework relies on a clear understanding of community needs and involves community members in all stages of the planning process. At the meeting, coalition members will look at substance misuse plaguing Anderson County and develop strategies for addressing these issues, including evidence-based strategies to prevent and reduce teen e-cigarette use in our community.

ORHS Ambassadors presenting to faculty at Robertsville Middle School

ASAP partners with Anderson County Schools and Oak Ridge Schools to provide the ASAP Youth Ambassadors program. For more information about the ambassador program or how you can get involved, contact ASAP of Anderson at 865-457-3007 or visit www.ASAPofAnderson.org.  Follow ASAPofAnderson on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

[1] https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm625884.htm

[2] https://www.samhsa.gov/capt/applying-strategic-prevention-framework

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