A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Webinar on ‘Stopping Vaping and Substance Use’ free on Jan. 11; how to prevent youth risky behavior


Substance use among youth is a persistent problem in Kentucky according to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Self-reported vaping during the high school years – when the overwhelming majority of adult tobacco users got started – is at a rate of one in four in Kentucky, and that rate was rising dramatically through 2019.

High school alcohol use, while declining for more than two decades, remained at 23 percent. About 15 percent of high schoolers used marijuana – a steady problem, and 11 percent abused prescription pain meds. Other illicit drug use is less common, but a rising number of high schoolers (22.6 percent in 2019) are being offered illegal drugs on campus.

These statistics are alarming, but there are proven policies and programs to help reduce tobacco and other substance use during youth.

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, in partnership with Kentucky Youth Advocates, will offer a free webinar to share these solutions on Monday, January 11 from 2-3 pm ET. The webinar is part of the Foundation’s annual Howard L. Bost Memorial Health Policy Forum webinar series, which focused this year on improving child health in Kentucky.

The panelists on this webinar, Stopping Vaping and Substance Use, are:

Devine Carama, Community Coordinator, Lexington FEND Movement and Founder, Kingtucky, LLC

Van Ingram, Executive Director, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy

Tami Cappelletti, Programs and Education Manager, American Lung Association, “How to Talk to Your Kids About Vaping”

Abby Hefner, Anti-Vaping Advocate, McCracken County High School

The discussion will be moderated by Eva Stone, District Health Coordinator for Jefferson County Public Schools.

Speakers will help participants:

• Understand the current state of youth use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances, as well as both longer-term trends and the specific impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on those trends.
• Explore evidence-based programs regarding how to talk to youth about e-cigarettes and vaping.
• Learn about an effective youth substance-use prevention program in Lexington.
• Hear about a McCracken County youth’s experience of becoming addicted to nicotine, how she finally quit vaping, and her subsequent advocacy work.

Legislators, educators, advocates and others who want to learn more about evidence-based policies and programs to reduce youth tobacco and other substance use are encouraged to attend.


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