Hutsonville holds vaping community forum to help educate public

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HUTSONVILLE, lll. (WTWO/WAWV) E-cigarette use and vaping have been known as a safer alternatives to smoking. However, as many learned Tuesday night the alternative is just as deadly.  

Students’ parents and community members gathered in Hutsonville High School gym to learn about the new trend that can be as small as a flash drive. 

“I heard the presentation that was going to be on vaping and don’t know much about it but I know a lot of people that do so it’s a concern,” Hutsonville parent Ken Gallaspy said.    

Several in attendance were unaware of the growing problem of vaping, especially among youth. 

“The issues with chronic illness are occurring in younger and younger ages,” Crawford Memorial Hospital Nurse anesthesiologist Joceph Grazaitis said. “So though there are some admit side effects of people that are vaping, kids that are vaping they fail to realize that chronic use of vaping is triggering a lot of chronic illness, things that we are all aware of, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, diabetes.”  

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill earlier this month banning the sale of tobacco products to minors and he raised the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21.  

In 2017, 2.8% of U.S. adults were current e-cigarette users. 

According to the CDC, youth are more likely than adults to use e-cigarettes with more than 3.6 million high school and middle school students using.   

Also, one in five high schoolers have vaped in the past month, according to the FDA.  

Hutsonville educators realized the problem was hitting close to home when some students as young as fifth grade were vaping.  

“In addition when we started having conversations with our students there was this true belief that they didn’t believe there were any health consequences to vaping, so we felt like it was really important to get the word out. there are consequences and to educate our parents,” Hutsonville CUSD #1 Superintend Julie Kraemer said.  

For those in attendance the conversation will not stop with the forum that’s because local leaders, community members, school facility and families will work together to put the latest trend out for good.  

The school corporation plans to hold more events with experts who will be available to answer questions. The law goes into effect July 1st.  

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