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Health officials say teen e-cigarette use has doubled in Eau Claire

Eau Claire (WQOW) – The FDA is now calling the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers an “epidemic”.

In Eau Claire County, the number of teens using e-cigarettes has doubled from 12 to 24 percent between 2015 and 2017. That is according to data compiled by the Eau Claire City-County Health Department from a yearly risk-behavior survey given to local kids in the age range of 12 to 17.

The Health Department said one Juul pod is equal to the amount of nicotine in one pack of cigarettes or higher.

“Research does show that having a conversation with your kids you are very valued although it may not seem like it when you are raising your kids they do pay attention to what you are saying and they do hear your expectations and want to follow some of that,” said Lil Piñero, with the Eau Claire Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention.

Piñero said the first step in stopping the use of e-cigarettes lies with parents. She recommends parents talk to their kids about the harmful side effects of nicotine.

The FDA announced Wednesday that fines and warning letters were sent to e-cigarette retailers, including those that illegally sell the popular brand, Juul, to minors.

Five brands now have to submit plans to address teen use of their products within 60 days.

Lindsey Ford

Lindsey Ford is a multimedia journalist.

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