Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a three-prong strategy to reduce vaping among Hoosier youth Thursday, said State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso).
Holcomb was joined by Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, students, local leaders, health professionals, stakeholders and others at Fishers High School for the announcement.
During the event, state leaders unveiled the 2018 Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey (IYTS) results, which showed e-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among Indiana youth and vaping has increased 300% since 2012.
Recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also link vaping to more than 200 respiratory illnesses nationwide, including at least 24 in Indiana.
To address these alarming statistics, ISDH plans to increase awareness of the risks associated with e-cigarettes through an educational toolkit for schools, parents and students. ISDH also plans to launch a youth-focused text-to-quit program and a statewide public awareness program focusing on both vaping prevention and cessation.
“Ensuring the health and well-being of Hoosiers is a top priority for me, and I believe this new initiative will be beneficial in educating Hoosier parents and children on the dangers of vaping,” Charbonneau said. “This is a great step in reducing our youth¹s e-cigarette usage, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact these new resources will have in Indiana.”
The IYTS is a school-based survey of students in grades six through 12 that asks about a variety of questions on tobacco such as usage, exposure to secondhand smoke, access to tobacco products, and knowledge and attitudes.
The IYTS found that vaping has increased 387% among high school students, and 358% among middle school students since 2012. Between 2016 and 2018, nearly 35,000 more Indiana students used e-cigarettes.
To view the full IYTS survey, visit vapefreeindiana.isdh.in.gov