SOUTH FORT MYERS, Fla -- A new report showed Florida is failing when it comes to reducing and preventing tobacco use, including e-cigarettes. It's an issue specifically impacting your kids and that's dangerous now more than ever amid the pandemic.
The American Lung Association said nearly 26% of high school students in Florida use e-cigarettes. That's based off the most recent data from 2019 and they expect that number is only going up amid the pandemic.
Tobacco use remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and disease, taking an estimated 480,000 lives every year.
The association said stopping kids and people from smoking is more important than ever because it also increases the risk of severe impacts of COVID-19.
It said downtime from school and extracurricular activities amid the pandemic is contributing to an increase in kids smoking and vaping.
The association is calling on our state in 2021 to preserve funding for tobacco prevention and quit smoking programs. It said youth vaping and tobacco use overall is largely driven by flavored tobacco products. The report has added a new state grade calling for policies to end the sale of them, including menthol cigarettes, flavored e-cigarettes and flavored cigars.
When it comes to talking to your kids about all of this, the association said there are tools here that can help.