A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Johnson Co. Middle School JuulBreakers display courage as they challenge e-cigarette epidemic

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Johnson County Middle School students exemplify the grit needed to be the leaders Theodore Roosevelt called for in his “Man in the Arena” speech he delivered on April 23, 1910 at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. This past year the students challenged their peers, schools, parents and the Kentucky General Assembly to tackle the growing epidemic of use of the popular...

Mitch McConnell: Elected officials must work with parents to protect our youth from nicotine addiction

The youth vaping crisis is putting the health of our children at risk. To address this rampant and dangerous new trend, I’ve introduced the “Tobacco-Free Youth Act,” a bipartisan federal bill with my fellow tobacco state colleague, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). Once enacted, our legislation will raise the minimum purchase age for all tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 and help protect...

Johnson County Middle School students named Healthy Kentucky Champions for anti-vaping work

A group of nine Johnson County Middle School students who call themselves the “Juul Breakers” have been named Healthy Kentucky Policy Champions for their efforts to curb youth vaping and e-cigarette use, both in their school and across Kentucky through education and a proposed statewide law. Juul is the most popular brand of e-cigarettes on the market today, including among youth, and...

Rise in teen use of e-cigarettes erases years of progress in curbing teen smoking

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Teens’ use of electronic cigarettes is overwhelmingly responsible for erasing years of progress in reducing teen tobacco use, according to the latest annual National Youth Tobacco Survey. The survey found that 4.9 million middle and high school students reported being current users of some type of tobacco product in 2018, a third again as many as the 3.6...

American Lung Association report finds Kentucky must do more to prevent, reduce tobacco use

Tobacco use remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and disease, taking an estimated 480,000 lives every year. Kentucky’s tobacco prevention and cessation funding. *Source: the American Lung Association State of Tobacco Control report (click to enlarge). This year’s “State of Tobacco Control” report from the American Lung Association finds Kentucky earned nearly across-the-board...

KHIP: 39 percent of Kentucky smokers cut back after cigarette tax increase took effect in July

Half of Kentucky’s adult smokers say they smoked fewer cigarettes, or that they considered or tried to quit smoking, following the cigarette excise tax increase that went into effect July 1, 2018. “The cigarette tax increase is changing thinking and behavior about smoking in Kentucky,” said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which released a...

KY Youth Advocates, Foundation for Healthy KY warn of surge in teen e-cigarette usage; it’s not safe

A new infographic from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Kentucky Youth Advocates highlights the surge in e-cigarette usage among teens seen across the Commonwealth and the nation. While youth cigarette smoking in Kentucky has steadily declined, the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, known as vapes and Juuls, is putting a new generation of teens at risk of nicotine addiction. “Kentucky...

New Infographic outlines the dangers of electronic cigarettes, with focus on epidemic of teen usage

A two-page infographic from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Kentucky Youth Advocates aims to fight the surge in use of electronic cigarette usage among Kentucky teenagers. “While youth cigarette smoking in Kentucky has steadily declined, the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, known as vapes and Juuls, is putting a new generation of teens at risk of nicotine addiction,” the foundation...

Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow set to outline troubling increase in e-cigarette use among teens

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Health groups in Kentucky say teens in the state have the wrong idea when it comes to the safety of e-cigarettes. Ben Chandler with Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow said 1-in-5 high school students uses e-cigarettes – also called vaping. That’s a 78 percent increase in the past year. With flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy, health experts believe...

FDA cracking down on youth e-cigarette use; proposes ban on menthol flavored tobacco products

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed Thursday to ban menthol-flavored cigarettes and cigars, and restrict the sales of some flavored electronic-cigarette liquids, some flavored cigars and the removal of e-cigarettes that are marketed to youth. The proposals are aimed at curbing teen use of e-cigarettes and follow the release of data showing that teen...

Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow to host conference on health impact of popular Juul devices

Concerned that the escalation of Juul and other e-cigarette use will undermine progress in reducing tobacco-related disease in Kentucky, the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow will host a half-day conference in Louisville on Monday, December 10, to explore the latest evidence about the health impact of these devices. In addition, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and Kentucky Youth Advocates will...

Coalition for Smoke-Free Tomorrow to push for state law to ban e-cigarettes from all schools activities

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Concerned that historic declines in youth tobacco use will be undermined by the “exploding popularity” of Juul and other e-cigarettes, Kentucky’s Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow says it will lobby for a state law making all schools in the state 100 percent tobacco-free in the upcoming year. “We’re suddenly seeing epidemic levels...

USDA launching new anti-vaping campaign aimed at an epidemic among teens; educating on the risks

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is launching a new anti-vaping campaign aimed at teens. The campaign, “The Real Cost,” will target nearly 10.7 million students through hard-hitting advertising on digital and social media sites that are popular among teens, like YouTube and Instagram, and by placing ads at least 10,000 high-school bathrooms. The...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky seeks input for topics, questions for poll; deadline is Aug. 1

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is seeking input about the topics and questions to be included in the next Kentucky Health Issues Poll. The deadline for suggestions is Aug. 1. KHIP is a telephone poll of Kentucky adults, asking their views on key health policy issues likely to come before the legislature or local policy-making bodies, and their opinions on health-related topics and health status...

William Hacker: Cigarette tax is good health policy, especially for Kentucky babies and youth

23,200 more Kentucky youth who become smoke-free adults. Nearly 1,200 healthier newborns every year. $1 billion in long-term health care cost savings. Isn’t that worth a dollar more? Health advocates are calling for a $1 per pack increase in Kentucky’s state tax on cigarettes because it will reduce tobacco use, particularly among youth and pregnant women. Less smoking means healthier babies and...

Coalition for a Smoke-Free Kentucky releases Infographic illustrating high cost of smoking

Kentucky spends $1.92 billion every year on health care costs related to smoking, according to a new infographic released by the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow. The infographic makes the case for raising the state’s current tax on cigarettes by at least $1 per pack, which would raise $266.2 million a year in revenue that the Commonwealth could use for health care, pensions or other needs. Created...

Smart HealthToday: E-cigarettes are now regulated by the FDA, but product remains controversial

By Rory Glynn SmartHealthToday The Food and Drug Administration issued its long-awaited first regulations on e-cigarettes in 2016. But controversy surrounding them hasn’t exactly vanished in a puff of smoke. The widely expected move, announced over a year ago in May 2016, requires manufacturers of so-called Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or ENDS – including e-cigarettes and also vaporizers,...

Electronic cigarettes, hookahs added to smoking ban ordinance by Louisville Metro Council

Electronic cigarettes and hookahs are now included in the smoking ban of Kentucky’s largest city. The Louisville Metro Council voted 15-6 to expand its anti-smoking ordinance. “Neither e-cigs or hookah can be deemed safe or healthy for human consumption,” said Council Member Vicki Aubrey Welch, the legislation’s sponsor. Welch, a Democrat, said council members compromised with local...

E-cigarette marketing finds a ready teenage audience, and preventive messaging isn’t keeping up

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News RICHMOND — Marketing messages for electronic cigarettes are resonating with Kentucky’s teenagers, who said in focus-group interviews that teens use e-cigs because they are safer, non-addictive, and cool. “Overwhelmingly, those first responses were about safety and less harm,” Amy Jeffers, director of Pathways Regional Prevention Center,...