Intervention Aroostook: 3.29.2022

Intervention Aroostook
Intervention Aroostook
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 8:49 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -The momentum is building even more so to get more communities to tighten laws surrounding youth access to e-cigarette and vaping products in Maine. Shawn Cunningham reports in this week’s Intervention Aroostook.

The cities of Bangor and Portland have both voted to end the sale of flavored tobacco products within their city limits as of June 1. And the Maine Legislature is expected to take up LD 1550, An Act To End the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products, which would implement the policy statewide. American Cancer Society Rep Hillary Schneider says more businesses, groups and communities are coming on board to fight what she says is the good fight and ensure people are on the right side of history being made...a history that protects youth health.

Hillary Schneider ACS

“The Maine State Chamber of Commerce has been interested in joining our efforts because they know the toll of tobacco on businesses in the state is big and that we spend hundreds of millions of dollars in tobacco related healthcare costs in the state and it affects everybody it affects businesses in terms of absenteeism and productivity and it also affects taxpayers through taxpayer funded programs...”

Shawn Cunningham

And she says some retailers that sell the products are also on board with the campaign crackdown/..

“we do have businesses that are supportive including businesses that have decided to stop selling tobacco products on their own because they realize the data and they realize that they didn’t want to be part of the problem.”

A problem she says where more Maine youth are using these vaping products, and not only becoming addicted but damaging their overall health in the process...

“we know that e-cigarette use remains a youth use epidemic we have 1 in 2 kids in Maine high school students in Maine have ever tried an e-cigarette with 1 in 4 using e-cigarette some form of tobacco product.”

And she has a retort to people who say the products provide an alternative to quitting traditional smoking...

“the evidence does not show us that people use these products to quit we actually see people who use them and use other products what we call dual usage as well as people have a lot of challenges because of the high nicotine content of quitting e-cigarette and they are a tobacco product and they are not safe.”

A report put out last week by the CDC indicates that while numbers of adults smoking are dropping, e-cigarette use remains highest among young adults. Shawn Cunningham, NS 8.

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