MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Teen tobacco use across the U.S. is on the rise according to the Center for Disease Control. The latest data released by Alabama’s Department of Public Health shows the state surpasses the national average when it comes to teen e-cigarettes or vape use.
“Number one, be aware of what it is, what it looks like, how to identify it as well as what’s in it,” said Kay Mathews.
Kay Mathews spends her time educating people about the risk of e-cigarettes, as the youth tobacco prevention program manager for the Alabama Department of Public Health.
“You have where kids are misled to believe, the truth is it’s not any safer, especially for kids it’s not safe,” said Mathews.
This past week, a 17-year-old boy shattered his jaw when his vaping device exploded.
“So overall, besides what you’re inhaling, it’s just not a safe device to have on your person,” said Mathews.
In the latest report, Alabama surpasses the national average when it comes to teen e-cigarettes use, the state stands at 24.5% while the national average is just 20%.
The Alabama Legislature made sweeping changes when it comes to the sale and advertising of vaping devices.
“Now it is going to put us in line with the rest of the country,” said Rep. Barbara Drummond, D- Mobile. “Alabama was among three states that did not regulate vaping, and now we can safeguard the welfare of our children.”
This past week San Fransisco became the first city in the U.S. to ban the sale of vapes, Alabama’s vaping restriction law goes into affect September 1.