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Youth vaping trend is rebounding in Florida, Ladapo says

ladapo on vaping.png
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Florida's surgeon general leads a discussion on youth nicotine use and other issues during a meeting of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet.

Cigarette use by young people in Florida has plummeted this year, to 1.1 percent, but state Surgeon General Dr. Joseph says the vaping trend is rebounding.

“The not-so-great news is that in the same year about 18% of high schoolers in Florida reported using a vaping device. So a lot of people are vaping," Ladapo said this past week while addressing a meeting of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet.

Laura Corbin, bureau chief for Tobacco Free Florida, told the group that while vaping use by youths was 30 percent higher this year than 2017, there is a statistical decrease over the past two years.

Watch: Florida Children and Youth Cabinet presentation on youth vaping, smoking

Corbin’s presentation covered how e-cigarette companies are aggressive promoting their products to youths and interventions Tobacco Free Florida is undertaking to halt product usage.

Some companies like Juul would hold launch parties in large cities like New York or Miami, she said.

“They would rent rooftops, have movie nights, get bands, hire models, bring in social media influencers, provide free samples all to create a buzz about their product,” she said.

A state law took effect this year that raised the legal age to buy tobacco and nicotine products in Florida from 18 to 21. The law also says retail store owners must obtain a state permit to sell nicotine and vaping products.

Ladapo was designated chair of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet in October after first lady Casey DeSantis resigned following her cancer diagnosis. The group is charged with promoting and implementing collaboration and improved service delivery among state agencies.

WFSU's Gina Jordan contributed to this report.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.