E-Cigarette Use Linked to Greater Risk of Subsequent Cigarette Smoking in Youth

E-Cigarette Use Linked to Greater Risk of Subsequent Cigarette Smoking in Youth

E-cigarette use has risen among teens since the product was introduced to the United States in 2007. Now, e- cigarette use exceeds the rate of cigarette smoking amongst young adults.

As e-cigarettes are fairly new to the market, extensive research has not been conducted to determine the long- term health and environmental impact. However, a new study from Dartmouth College shows that the potential harm of e-cigarettes should be taken very seriously.

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, focused on the question: Does e-cigarette use increase the risk of future cigarette smoking among youth? The results showed evidence of greater risk between initial e-cigarette use and subsequent cigarette smoking initiation.

The study did not address why e-cigarette use increases risk of transitioning to cigarettes, but the reason could be that e-cigarettes mimic smoking behavior through similar hand-to-mouth movements, or puffing and exhalation. E-cigarette aerosol also contains nicotine and use of these devices could enhance exposure and eventual addiction.

“The finding is very consistent across studies. That along with the strength of the association makes it probable that e-cigarette use is one cause of cigarette smoking,” said James Sargent, a co-author of the study, in a news article. “E-cigarette use could affect population trends in youth smoking if use becomes more common, and that is the big public health concern.”

Future studies plan to continue to evaluate the risk posed by e-cigarette use for cigarette smoking with newer generations of cigarettes.



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Project Grad Night 2017 – Soars to New Heights

Project Grad Night takes off and offers our graduating seniors a night to remember. The idea is to provide a fun-filled evening, without drugs or alcohol involved, as a way to promote celebrating life’s milestones without feeling like you have to be “under the influence” to have a good time.

This community sponsored event starts in the planning phases at least a year before these new grads get their diploma. Parents and community members alike, support this program with fundraising efforts and perfecting the right combination of activities for their upcoming seniors. Part of the success of this event is to keep it all a surprise for the soon to be grads, so it adds to the “natural high” and excitement they’ll experience on their big night with their classmates. Students look forward to this evening and this year we had 62 out of 64 seniors attend!

Thanks to our Executive Coordinator, Cynthia Stark-Wickman, Project Grad Night was implemented on San Juan Island in 2010. Cynthia had heard of this national program when her daughters were seniors in Hawaii and we had some concerned parents of soon to be grads in 2009, express their worries that the youth would just create “their own fun”. Perhaps alcohol would be served and what is suppose to be a big night of celebrating is often cut short, either parties being broken up by police or worst, someone driving under the influence and a car crash is involved. Project Grad Night quickly became something the youth looked forward to and the buzz around it outweighed the “party circuit” on Graduation Night.

Recently, Sheriff Ron Krebs spoke at our Board of Trustees meeting about the success of this event and how his Deputies thanked the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition for supporting this innovative program. He commented that we have not had any car crashes involving youth on Graduation Night since this program started over 17 years ago! We are grateful the community rallies around the youth and helps support the costs to offer such cool and exciting adventures! This year, the Class of 2017 took flight…soaring to new heights with a 45 minutes flight around the islands. The weather couldn’t have been better!

Thank you to all whom contribute to making Project Grad Night a resounding success each year! Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

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ROCK SOLID Youth Win GRAND PRIZE at WA State Prevention-Spring Youth Forum 2017

Zach Fincher shares a little information about his Community Project at FHES and how it led to their opportunity to present at the State level in Prevention.

 “Last year, at the WA. State Prevention Summit, we learned about Tucker the Turtle and his Turtle Techniques. Tucker is an evidence-based program to help kids by teaching them to reduce stress and to manage their emotions, particularly, if they get mad. I worked closely with my mentor, Cynthia Stark-Wickman, Executive Coordinator, of the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition to research and implement these ideas into a script. I enlisted the help of some of my fellow actors from our International Thespian Society, Friday Harbor Chapter to perform the skit that I wrote based on Tucker’s Turtle Techniques. I also enjoyed meeting with the 1-3 graders prior to the performance to do a pre survey, so I could return after the performance to ask the same questions and see if the students learned any new skills from our skit. The results were encouraging! Kids reported an increase in skills to deal with bullies and bullying behaviors across the three grades, in some cases by over 55%! We also reminded students, as part of the performance, that taking five deep breaths is scientifically proven to help reduce stress and allows time for us to think, before we just react. I’m grateful to Principal Ball and her team of teachers and counselors as they supported my efforts with this community project. If you haven’t seen the video recording, it’s on the sjipc.org website under the Tucker the Turtle tab. We also put a Tucker the Turtle book in the FHES Library for kids to check out. I truly enjoyed sharing some positive messaging with our younger community members. I know I looked up to the older kids when I went to FHES as a student. I understand the power of kids teaching kids. I hope one day, some of these students will be moved to do a similar project and return to share their positive messages with the next generation of FHES students.”

 Upon completing his community project, Zach and other Rock Solid Youth, Chiara Power and Luke Fincher, submitted their application to present their prevention project at the Spring Youth Forum. Chiara and Luke were actors in the performance and also attended the November 2016 WA State Prevention Summit with Zach. There were 43 teams, with over 400 students from across our state selected to compete and share their prevention projects at the Spring Youth Forum. The youth always enjoy attending this Forum as they hear directly from other youth about their community prevention projects and are often inspired by their ideas to return and do another prevention project for our community. Chiara Power shares, “ I want to personally thank the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition for supporting us and making it possible to attend these youth leadership training programs. During this trip, we saw some amazing students (of my own age) present projects they did in their own communities. It was nice to see my generation take problems into their own hands and act upon the problems facing their communities. I definitely saw things that inspired me and things I want to take back to our community. One group of girls did a female self and body confidence workshop that was moving and poignant. After their presentation, I turned to one of my friends (a member of HOTS Jr. from FHMS) and said, “We should do that on the island.” It was really a pleasant experience and I saw my leadership skills bloom a little more with each presentation we gave.”

Luke Fincher shares, “we were separated by room for the first round of presentations, with six-seven teams in each room. After each presentation, we were critiqued on impact, innovation, collaboration, and sustainability. Afterwards, the top seven teams were chosen to present their presentation again for the the entire Forum, over 400 people! Rock Solid was first in each of our group presentations, which really tested our confidence. When the judges read off the Grand Prize winners name…ROCK SOLID, we were all in a state of shock. We are very grateful and feel very honored, as we saw some amazing youth share some very powerful projects. I want to thank the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition and all the community members that invested in us. I want to stay involved and do more prevention projects for our community.”

As Grand Prize winners, Rock Solid won $ 5,000 towards their next Youth Leadership Training Program, which takes place in Washington DC in February 2018. CADCA, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, offers their NYLI (National Youth Leadership Initiative) where the students will learn more of the strategic prevention framework model and environmental strategies to help implement positive change in their community. They will also go to Capitol Hill and meet some of our state’s leaders and learn ways to advocate for change at a different level. This national conference will help build upon the skills they have learned attending these state and local youth leadership programs. Investing in youth leadership training has always been a hallmark of the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition as the youth then participate in policy, environment, and system changes that target their peer group and other youth. This is Zach’s seventh year in prevention, as he started in 2011, attending his first WA  State Prevention Summit in Yakima. This is where Zach got the idea to start Rock Solid while a student at Spring Street International School, offering a prevention club open to all youth from the private, public and home school communities.

As you may know, the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition (SJIPC) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce substance abuse in youth and to create a community culture supporting healthy choices and responsible behaviors in youth and adults. If you would like to get involved, our next Board of Trustees meeting is Friday, June 16th. Please RSVP at 370-7516 orprevention@sanjuanco.com Rock Solid will share more of their presentation at 12 noon at this meeting.

The SJIPC applies for State grants to run these programs. Currently, SJIPC is a Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative supported community coalition funded by the Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) with the WA Department of Social Health Services.  As budget cuts continue, we always welcome the support of private donors and organizations to help support more youth in youth leadership training opportunities and project development and implementation. These bright and capable students are helping to bring positive change to our community. We are grateful to our community for all their support of these young leaders!

Thank you… Debbi Fincher, Rock Solid Team Advisor

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Marijuana Use and School Performance

Marijuana use increases risk of academic problems. Marijuana’s effect on learning, memory and motivation can lead to difficulties in school. Help youth choose health and let their brain continue to develop for their best outcomes. The adolescent brain continues to develop until age 25 or so.

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Tobacco and Environmental Strategies to Reduce Smoking

Oklahoma Cigarette Price Increase is a Big Win for Kids and Health

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Jun. 1 2017


WASHINGTON, DC – The $1.50-per-pack increase in the price of cigarettes that Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law today is truly a win-win-win solution for Oklahoma. It’s a health win that will reduce tobacco use and save lives, a financial win that will help raise revenue and fund state health initiatives, and a political win that polls show is popular with voters. We applaud Gov. Fallin and legislative champions for siding with kids over the tobacco industry in supporting a significant increase in cigarette prices.

The evidence is clear that raising the price of cigarettes is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among kids. Nationally, studies show that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by about 7 percent and overall cigarette consumption by about 4 percent. The $1.50 price increase will:

  • Prevent more than 28,000 Oklahoma kids from becoming smokers
  • Spur more than 30,000 current adult smokers to quit
  • Save 16,700 Oklahomans from premature, smoking-caused deaths
  • Save $1.2 billion in future health care costs.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in Oklahoma, claiming 7,500 lives each year and costing the state more than $1.6 billion annually in health care bills. In Oklahoma, 14.6 percent of high school students still smoke (among the highest in the nation) and 2,400 kids become new regular smokers every year. Today’s action can help turn this unfortunate situation around.

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Tobacco and Health

Prevent Tobacco Use

High rates of smoking in the United States expose more than 88 million people to secondhand smoke on a regular basis. Despite all the evidence detailing the dangers of tobacco use, teens and young adults continue to smoke at very high rates in the United States. More than 3 million middle and high school students smoke cigarettes and more and more young people are turning to flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes. 

CADCA’s Tobacco Use Prevention Toolkit is designed to provide coalitions and drug prevention practitioners with strategies and ideas they can implement to prevent and reduce tobacco use in their communities. Most of the toolkit’s content is based on an environmental approach, with strategies aimed at changing or influencing community conditions, standards, institutions, structures, systems and policies. Grounded in the field of public health, environmental strategies offer well-accepted prevention approaches that coalitions can use to change the context (or environment) in which tobacco use occurs.

The toolkit’s Tobacco Use Prevention Strategies are based on CADCA’s 7 Strategies for Effective Community Change. Other components of the toolkit include fact sheets, success stories, and several helpful tools such as a sample logic model, a sample smoke-free ordinance and sample intervention maps.

Click here to access CADCA’s Tobacco Use Prevention Toolkit!

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13 Reasons Why…Not. Teen Suicide Support from FHMS Counselor

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PLAY BALL…Tobacco-free

The Beginning of Baseball’s Tobacco-Free Era at Miller Park

Baseball’s opening day was April 3rd and, as the Milwaukee Brewer’s season starts, there’s a change this year at Miller Park. For the first time, Miller Park is a tobacco-free venue.

The change is meant to discourage Major League baseball players from “dipping” during games in Milwaukee. Supporters of the ban said it’s a poor example for kids to see their idols doing something that’s bad for their health.

With the ban’s approval, the Milwaukee Brewers have become one of 14 MLB teams to join a national campaign to take tobacco out of baseball, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.

“Opening Day is a time when so many of baseball’s greatest traditions return for the season,” Michael Murphy, the alderman who sponsored the ordinance said in a statement. “But this year, I’m proud that Milwaukee can lead the way on a new tradition with the elimination of smokeless tobacco products from every sports venue in the city.”

“Smokeless tobacco harms the health of those who can use it, causing oral, pancreatic and esophageal cancer as well as other health problems such as gum disease, tooth decay and mouth lesions,” Bevan Baker, commissioner of health said in the statement. “Ensuring that Major League baseball players promote healthy behaviors on the field is a welcome step in the continued fight against tobacco’s threat to public health.”

Smokeless tobacco use has been banned in the minor leagues and all new MLB baseball players are also prohibited from using smokeless tobacco, which will eventually lead to a completely tobacco-free MLB.

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As more teens use e-cigarettes, NC lawmakers introduce a prevention bill to combat the increased use.


As more teens use e-cigarettes, NC lawmakers introduce a prevention bill to combat the increased use.

By Taylor Knopf

While cigarette smoking has decreased among young people, the use of electronic cigarettes is rising.

In response, North Carolina lawmakers filed House Bill 276 on Wednesday, which would put $17 million a year toward preventing young people from using “new and emerging tobacco products.”

Primary bill sponsor Rep. Donny Lambeth, a Forsyth County Republican, said it’s a “pay now or pay more later” situation.

North Carolina spends $3.81 billion in annual healthcare costs caused by smoking, he said. The state is hit by an additional $4.24 billion in smoking-related productivity losses each year, he claimed.

“Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable deaths in our state,” Lambeth said in a press conference at the General Assembly on Wednesday. “Let’s invest $17 million and prevent 180,000 young people from dying prematurely from smoking-related diseases.”

The money would come out of the state’s general fund, which Lambeth said receives $140 million each year from the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement signed in 1999. States receive settlement fees from cigarette manufacturers to reimburse them for Medicaid money spent treating smoking-related illnesses.

North Carolina funded the Tobacco. Reality. Unfiltered. teen smoking prevention program with this same amount of money from 2001 to 2012 through the now-defunct Health and Wellness Trust Fund. When the fund was eliminated in 2012, so was the program.

2015 data from the Youth Tobacco Survey show about 13 percent of North Carolina  high school students smoke traditional cigarettes while 29 percent use e-cigarettes. That’s up from only 7.7. percent of high school students who were using e-cigarettes in 2013.

Andrea Boakye,a 20-year-old representative with Youth Empowered Solutions who spoke at the press conference, said that young people are not educated on the dangers or alternative smoking products.

“My generation is being misinformed about the nicotine and tobacco presences in hookah, e-cigarettes, vapes and other similar nicotine delivery products,” she said. “Vaping is seen as a healthier alternative to smoking. It’s not.”

Boakye added that her generation is also being targeted by “heavy advertisements and child-like flavors that attract a young crowd.”


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Both opioid addiction and suicide are serious preventable and treatable public health problems, and everyone has a role to play.

Addressing Public Health Crises: Suicide and Opioid Addiction are Preventable

April 3, 2017
By: Judy Sarasohn, HHS (Public Affairs)
Both opioid addiction and suicide are serious preventable and treatable public health problems, and everyone has a role to play.

National Public Health Week. April 3-9, 2017.

During National Public Health Week exit disclaimer icon, April 3-9, we celebrate the progress we’ve made helping people live healthier lives and those public health professionals who have helped us make that progress. But one hallmark of public health is life expectancy, and the United States just experienced a drop in overall life expectancy for the first time since 1993. This was due in part to increases in two of the nation’s most heart-breaking and yet preventable public health issues facing us: the increasing rate of suicide and the increasing misuse of opioid drugs.

In 2015, nearly 44,200 deaths were due to suicide in the United States, or about one suicide every 12 minutes. According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 600,000 U.S. residents died by suicide from 1999 to 2015. The suicide rate has steadily climbed, resulting in a 2015 rate that is 28 percent higher than in 2000.

Suicide rates in less urban areas have been higher than those in more urban areas. During this time period, the gap in suicide rates increased between less urban and more urban areas. This gap began to widen more quickly in 2007-2008, possibly reflecting the impact and financial hardship of the recession, which hit rural areas harder.

Geographic disparities may also be associated with limited access to mental health care and greater social isolation, as well as the “opioid overdose epidemic,” according to the CDC report.

According to the CDC report: “Communities can benefit from implementing policies, programs and practices based on the best available evidence regarding suicide prevention and key risk factors.” And the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline exit disclaimer icon, 1-800-273 TALK (8255), supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is always available for anyone in need of help or information about suicide prevention.

Opioids include both prescription medications, such as hydrocodone, oxydone, morphine and methadone, which are approved to manage pain, as well as illicit drugs, such as heroin.

Suicide and opioid misuse and abuse risk factors can overlap, including pain, other addictions, mental disorders and disruptions in social support. Whether opioid overdose is unintentional or intentional, more than 300,000 Americans have died since 2000, including more than 33,000 deaths involving prescription and illicit opioids in 2015 alone.

To address this crisis, President Trump recently established a Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which has been tasked to make recommendations to the President for improving the federal response to the opioid crisis. The commission includes heads of key Cabinet departments, including HHS Secretary Tom Price.

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention exit disclaimer icon and the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health provide roadmaps for comprehensive public health approaches to suicide and substance abuse prevention. The emotional and economic impact on individuals as well as on families and communities demand a continued proactive and coordinated response.

Both opioid addiction and suicide are serious preventable and treatable public health problems, and everyone has a role to play. Learn about some of the available resources for treatment options, mental health and behavioral health issues and related concerns:

During #NPHW, we recognize the work that remains to address #opioid addiction & suicide. They are preventable. https://go.usa.gov/xXRBB


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