This morning, I was joined by at-large City Councilman Ron Salem and Daily’s CEO Aubrey Edge for an update on a partnership we announced nearly one year ago.
Every day, teens and young people in our community are tempted to vape. Recent studies report that 27.5% of high school students and 10.5% of middle school students have used e-cigarettes.
This practice poses a health risk, especially to young people. Studies show that nicotine use in adolescents can harm parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control. In addition to these dangers, there have been numerous reports of lung disease among teens and young adults throughout the country related to vaping an e-cigarette use.
As the father of three kids in middle and high schools, this hits particularly close to home. Jacksonville’s children are facing the temptation to partake in this dangerous activity daily.
Councilman Salem and Aubrey Edge share that concern as well, and that’s why we announced our partnership last year for a public awareness campaign to educate citizens—and particularly young people—about the dangers and risks of e-cigarettes and vaping. This campaign is a public-private partnership with $100,000 from the City and $100,000 from private donors.
Over the next few months, the public can expect to see commercials, advertisements, and other communications efforts throughout our community with the goal of reducing the use of vaping products among Jacksonville youth. In addition, we’ve launched a website with a number of resources to help spread this message. Please go to VapingGetsUgly.com to view and print out these posters, as well as other important materials.
Of course, we know that no ad campaign or PSA by itself will be enough. True success will depend on parents and others throughout our community. It is our hope that these ads will generate positive, honest conversations between Jacksonville youth and their parents, role models, and maybe even their peers, about the risks and dangers of teen vaping.
This is important work that will improve the lives of our kids and our city’s future.