Eau Claire (WQOW)- E-cigarettes are becoming more popular among the youth in Wisconsin, and Wednesday local health leaders teamed up to address the problem.
Marshfield Clinic Health System along with officials from the American Lung Association, county health departments, law enforcement and others teamed up to bring awareness to the epidemic and how stopping it is a community effort.
Jay Shrader, the vice president of Community Health and Wellness at Marshfield Health System, said the event is geared to pulling partners together and to understand how e-cigs are marketed to youth.
E-cigs come in all shapes and sizes and can look like a flash drive, pen or even a laser pointer.
Health officials want parents to understand what to look for because tobacco is changing, and could lead to other drugs.
“Youth are using it in ways that probably weren’t intended in specifically around marijuana use and using the e-cigarette device to smoke marijuana,” Shrader said. “Of course there’s all the discussions around, is it a gateway drug isn’t it a gateway drug? Bottom line is this is that there’s no safe level of tobacco or nicotine use among our youth.”
Shrader said they are giving a total of $20,000 to our communities for planning and discussions about e-cigs on a local level.