CONTACT: Aaron Collins, (608) 266-5780
Bill aims to address youth vaping public health crisis
MADISON – Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh), introduced legislation this week aimed at preventing youth vaping. The bill (LRB 5217) would provide $2 million in funding for a statewide public health campaign aimed at the prevention of tobacco and electronic cigarette use. Some of the funds will be directed towards local organizations that provide youth vape prevention and cessation services. This legislation is part of a number of initiatives targeting youth vape use in Wisconsin. Rep. Hintz released the following statement on this legislation:
“The rise in youth vaping is a public health crisis threatening the health of our children. State government has a role to play in slowing this epidemic among our youth. The funding in this bill will help get the word out across the state about the dangers of vaping, and provide resources for regional organizations to help prevent youth e-cigarette use.”
The epidemic of youth vaping has impacted every corner of Wisconsin. In July 2019, a teenager from Winnebago County was one of 8 children hospitalized due to symptoms caused by e-cigarettes. A 2018 Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 30% of Winnebago County high school students had used an electronic cigarette in the last month. Statewide, from 2014 to 2018, there was a 154% increase in e-cigarette use.
“When we see a new addiction introduced in our communities, we must act. Especially when that addiction is being targeted at children with flavors like ‘bubble gum’ and ‘candy pop.’ We as a state government need to step in to educate and help stop the youth of Wisconsin from falling into this addiction. I’m hopeful this will be a bipartisan effort to keep our children healthy and safe. I’m grateful for local groups in Oshkosh like re:TH!NK who are active in helping children live healthy lives and to prevent them from taking part in unhealthy activities like tobacco use and vaping.”