JCHS students see anti-vape  efforts recognized in Frankfort

From left, Logan Woody, Colby Little, Sen. Brandon Smith, Dalton Woody and Sen. Johnny Ray Turner at the state capitol. The Kentucky Senate this week voted to make the JCHS HOSA team’s “Vape Out Day” a statewide event.

The Johnson Central High School HOSA-Future Health Professionals “Team Truth” has taken their campaign against youth vaping to the Kentucky General Assembly.

The campaign gained traction with a county proclamation from Judge-Executive Mark McKenzie making February 28 “Vape Out Day,” after the HOSA “Team Truth” — JCHS students Colby Little, Dalton Woody and Logan Woody — saw a rise in the use of e-cigarette devices, such as Juuls, even among underage users, and began working with the Johnson County Health Department. 

Dist. 30 Sen. Brandon Smith, who represents Johnson County, and Dist. 29 Sen. Johnny Ray Turner, of Floyd County, sponsored a Senate resolution to declare Feb. 28 “Vape Out Day” across Kentucky.

According to resolution, 37 percent of 12th graders admitted to vaping in the past year, and vaping among middle school students increased by 48 percent across the past seven years.

“(W)hile e-cigarettes were originally advertised to adults as a way to stop smoking, a 2015 study showed that vaping had an opposite effect on teens, often leading them to transition from vaping to cigarettes,” the resolution said. “(S)even in 10 teens have been exposed to ads for e-cigarettes, with more than 42 percent of teens reporting that they had seen those advertisements on social media.”

According to the original Johnson County proclamation, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said one out of 20 middle school students admitted to the vaping, leading him to call it a “national epidemic.” According The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention e-cigarette use is not safe for children, teens or young adults, in part because of the nicotine content, which can affect brain development into a person’s early 20s.

The Senate passed the resolution by voice vote, officially making Feb. 28 “Vape Out Day” across the state of Kentucky.

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