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To Halt Vaping, New Program Schools Some Young People On Risks

A Cincinnati nonprofit wants young people's help educating their peers about the risks of vaping.

Vaping is the use of e-cigarettes to inhale substances like nicotine, THC or CBD oils. The threat of vaping continues to be a national conversation with at least 11 people dying due to a vaping-related illness. In Ohio, zero deaths have been linked to vaping as of press time.

The Greater Cincinnati Coalition on Smoking and Health and Citizens Against Tobacco Smoke are giving $20,000 so the Ahron Leichtman Smoking Prevention Program can teach students at Aiken, Walnut Hills and Woodward high schools about the risks of vaping and provide assistance on how to quit.

"Our commitment is not to have these young people start on anything that will addict them to tobacco or any kind of tobacco product," Director Of The Cancer Justice Network Steve Sunderland says. The youth program is one way his organization hopes to stop lung cancer in Cincinnati.

The Department of Health says the youngest person impacted was 16 years old. Cincinnati City Council voted to raise the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21, which takes affect this December.

CPS board member Eve Bolton says the program supports the district's revision on its tobacco policy. "Just back in the summer of 2018 we had to revise that policy and include the vaping piece because we'd seen such an incredible increase," she says. When WVXU asked for numbers about the increase, Bolton wasn't able to provide more detail.

The Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the connection between vaping and severe lung disease.

Aiken High School Senior Nporana Joly says she tries to educate her peers about the risk. "It doesn't only affect them it can also affect the environment and people around them," she says.

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