On March 22, the Johnson County Board of Health renewed their Position Statement on e-cigarettes for another three years. The Board of Health has held its same stance for nearly a decade that the prohibition on the use of e-cigarettes in state and local smoke-free air regulations and/or enacting tobacco/nicotine-free policies can help address the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.
Research shows that youth and young adults are particularly attracted to e-cigarettes due to the flavors and targeted marketing practices. For example, much like with tobacco products, the industry’s marketing and pricing strategies toward certain communities create or contribute to who uses their products. Vaping companies spend a lot of money sponsoring LGBTQ events and catering marketing campaigns directly to those who identify as LGBTQ. “This is one reason why transgender youth and female sexual minority youth are much more likely to report ever using e-cigarettes compared with cisgender youth and straight female youth. The more policies enacted to prohibit tobacco and vaping use and exposure in Johnson County, the more that each and every young person understands vaping is not a normal or common thing to do,” explains Susan Vileta, Health Educator for Johnson County Public Health.
The Johnson County Board of Health applauds Johnson County city councils and the board of supervisors for enacting ordinances prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes/vaping devices in the same places traditional smoking is prohibited. Since May 2019, Johnson County has been entirely covered by either a city or county ordinance. The Board of Health continues to encourage all businesses, daycares, and municipalities to continue to adopt local policies and practices to prevent and enforce tobacco and e-cigarette use and promote healthy behaviors. Please reach out to Johnson County Public Health for free assistance and resources. Free signs are available to assist with enforcement of these ordinances.
For more information on the harmful effects of e-cigarette use and the inequities caused by marketing practices, visit https://www.johnsoncountyiowa.gov/publichealth.
For free help quitting: Youth aged 13-17 text “Start My Quit” to 36072 (MyLifeMyQuit.org)