City of Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley recently signed a proclamation in the hope of educating local parents and youths about the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes.
On Wednesday, Forbes magazine reported that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is currently investigating 153 reports of illness related to vaping. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), meanwhile, is investigating 127 reports of seizures possibly linked to vaping, Forbes reported.
Mayor Fraley joined other public leaders, including Madison County Judge Executive Reagan Taylor and City of Richmond Mayor Robert Blythe in signing the proclamation that warns against the dangers of vaping. The proclamation is slated to be signed by school superintendents from the Madison County School District and the Berea Independent School District.
On hand from the Madison County Youth Impact Team (MCYIT) was Phillis Adams as well as David Eastman, who is local project director of the federally funded initiative Drug Free Communities. Also present was Berea City Council member Emily LaDouceur, who serves on MCYIT, and has spoken in support of the proclamation. The proclamation to educate citizens about the dangers of e-cigarettes, vapes and JUULs (a popular brand of e-cigarette) read as follows:
“Whereas, the use of e-cigarettes, vapes and JUULs have become popular among teens and the use has increased 78 percent in the past year, and;
Whereas, e-cigarettes, vapes and JUULs contain the same nicotine, the same highly addictive drug in cigarettes, and;
Whereas, nicotine exposure during the teen years can disrupt normal brain development and vaping delivers nicotine to the brain in as little as 10 seconds, and;
Whereas, e-cigarette companies are concealing health risks by offering products in many appealing flavors such as cherry and cotton candy, and by disguising the products in different shapes and sizes that will not look like a tobacco product, and;
Whereas, our county leaders are willing to help educate and increase awareness of the dangers of e-cigarettes, vaping and JUULs, and in support of drug free community grant, and;
Now, therefore, Madison County Fiscal Court, along with the City of Richmond, City of Berea, Madison County Board of Education, and Berea Board of Education, do hereby proclaim August 2019 as a time to educate citizens about the dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping.”
“The idea was to help get more information out about the dangers of vaping because it is now not only in our high schools, it’s moving down to our middle school students as well,” said Phillis Adams. “There are many parents who aren’t aware of the dangers of vaping.”
Adams further noted the proclamation is the only instrument she knows of that is endorsed by five separate local entities in Madison County – the three cities and the two school boards.
David Eastman, project director of Drug Free Communities, an initiative focused on preventing youth from using tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs, said the effort is hopefully just the beginning. “We’ve just started working with all of our community partners, and we’re excited to get this information out to our youth and parents,” Eastman said.