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Intervention Aroostook: 9.29.2020

Intervention Aroostook
Intervention Aroostook
Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 7:55 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention cigarette smoking causes more than 480 thousand deaths each year in the United States. In this week’s Intervention Aroostook, Shawn Cunningham talks to community educators about the challenge of getting youth to not take up the hazardous health habit.

With every cigarette puff a person takes, its taking years off your life. According the CDC, in 2017, nearly 23 percent of Maine high school youth reported currently using any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Among Maine high school youth, nearly 9 percent reported currently smoking cigarettes. But local community educators through ACAP, are working with local schools throughout the county to educate youth about the dangers of tobacco.The first addressing the power of media...

Elaine Sipe Community Educator, ACAP Tobacco Coalition

“media ready it actually helps children kids middle school age at this point learn what media is doing to them to connect them to cigarettes and let them know they’re kind of scamming them a bit.”

The other piece of that education Sipe says and is even more important is peer to peer...

“kids to train other kids and so that gets kids really motivated in the program and really helping their peers utilize what tobacco and alcohol are doing to them.”

Shawn Cunningham NO STANDUP

But community educators like Sipe say there remain hurdles. Big tobacco companies and the popularity of e-cigarette products on the market have made their effort of creating a tobacco free new generation even tougher. Educators say there’s still a disconnect between their message of tobacco being a health hazard and kids starting the habit/...

Chastity Holland Community Educator, ACAP Tobacco Coalition

“I think they’re not seeing the difficulties the downside of it because its so accessible to them the e-cigarettes are coming ni the shape of a USB drive something they can hide in their pocket and they have the nicotine free ones and all of these things and they’re not thinking about the amount of chemicals or additives that are in these pods.”

And then there’s the argument by some e-cigarette users who say the product has helped them quit smoking. So what’s the harm?

Sipe

“they came out with a study saying its not bad and this is a way to help but but the science is out there we have to go through science and we have to go to stories and tell them you cannot sell to under 18 its against the law.”

Shawn Cunningham, NS 8.

Copyright 2020 WAGM. All rights reserved.

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