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Teen Vaping Rates Continue to Surge: We Learn About Prevention Efforts in Collier County Schools

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
Chris Montgomery via Flickr
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

According to the latest survey data the number of teens who say they’ve used e-cigarettes, or vaped, has increased considerably over the past year. Data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 28% of high school students reported using nicotine e-cigarettes in the past 30 days — that’s up from just over 20% in 2018. For middle schoolers that rate more than doubled from 5% in 2018 to 11% in 2019.

Researchers say the popularity of e-cigarettes shaped like USB flash drives, and containing flavors like bubble gum or peppermint, have contributed to these increases. And health officials warn that nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm the developing brain, which continues to develop until about age 25 years. But it’s not just nicotine that teens are vaping, but also products containing THC.

Today we’re learning about education and prevention efforts in Collier County Public Schools with Dr. Peggy Aune, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction; Chad Oliver, Executive Director of Communications and Community Engagement; and Sgt. Tiffany Castle with the Youth Relations Bureau at the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Julie Glenn is the host of Gulf Coast Live. She has been working in southwest Florida as a freelance writer since 2007, most recently as a regular columnist for the Naples Daily News. She began her broadcasting career in 1993 as a reporter/anchor/producer for a local CBS affiliate in Quincy, Illinois. After also working for the NBC affiliate, she decided to move to Parma, Italy where she earned her Master’s degree in communication from the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Her undergraduate degree in Mass Communication is from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.