Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will host the “Youth Vaping Summit” on Monday, October 7th at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. A second day will be on Wednesday, October 9th at Bentonville High School in Northwest Arkansas. You can register at www.ArkansasAG.gov/Vape.
From Arkansas Attorney Leslie Rutledge:
This year I have been hearing a consistent and disturbing theme from every corner of the state regarding the dramatic increase of teens and pre-teens using vaping/e-cigarette products. I have heard from school administrators, educators, and law enforcement officials who are deeply concerned about the popularity and ease of access to e-cigarettes which has created a youth vaping epidemic in many schools and towns across Arkansas. This is why I’m launching my “GenZ Nic Free” campaign to better educate parents, students, and teachers on the dangers of vaping and to ensure that bad actors in the e-cigarette industry are held accountable for their actions. I would like to invite you to attend one of our upcoming Youth Vaping Summits where we will provide you with great speakers and resources on the dangers of youth vaping.
The myths and lack of factual information about vaping have only worsened the problem. Teachers have even shared stories with me about how parents are aware of their children vaping, but they see no reason to intervene as they falsely believe it to be perfectly safe and a better alternative than other vices. However, this could not be further from the truth. Not only is it illegal for anyone under the age of 19 to possess or purchase e-cigarette products in Arkansas, but the truth is that the long-term effects of teen vaping are highly unknown and the vaping industry is currently under-regulated. Unlike the tobacco industry, Arkansas teens who chose to vape really have no guarantee of the quality or the quantity of the chemicals they are inhaling and are often consuming the nicotine-equivalent of an entire pack of cigarettes in a single e-cigarette pod.
I believe that if we saw a mass of Arkansas students start smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, parents would be storming the State Capitol. But because of the vaping industries’ deceptive marketing practices and disinformation campaigns, many parents likely do not have the facts they need to make the best decisions for their child’s well-being. I strongly encourage you and your colleagues to be a part of this coalition to snuff out vaping in Arkansas schools. Our kids are counting on us.
For more information about this initiative and to register for an upcoming Youth Vaping Summit on Monday, October 7th at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, or on Wednesday, October 9th at Bentonville High School, please visit www.ArkansasAG.gov/Vape.