A study from the Journal of the American Medical Association has officials in Mercer County, like county commissioner Greg Puckett, working to reduce the number of teenagers smoking flavored tobacco products.
“So it’s unfortunate, but we’ve really got to get back to the basics. We try to talk to the young people and say look this is not an alternative to smoking, there’s not a lot of research on this. Juul pods haven’t been around for five years. So it’s a lot of unknowns,“ Puckett said.
Puckett said officials at the health department are teaming up with the school board to better educate young people on the dangers of smoking. He also said many high schools in the area are cracking down on taking away any tobacco product from kids.
“We know, thankfully, the local health departments have started adopting wherever there is smoking products, they’re also tackling vaping issues as well. So local health departments are tackling policies. We’re also seeing our schools cracking down as well,“ Puckett said.
The findings of this study aren’t just concerning health care professionals. Parents like Melissa Bishop are also prioritizing educating their children on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle from early age.
“But then you look at someone like me, and you think oh yeah she’s just old, what does she know? But the thing is we’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced peer pressure. I know personally I’ve never smoked or done drugs or anything like that, which I’m grateful,“ Bishop said.