Pennsylvania hosts virtual event on vaping epidemic, prevention

Pennsylvania’s departments of Health and Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) recently held a two-day virtual summit on vaping.

The American Lung Association, the Pennsylvania Alliance to Control Tobacco, and the Tobacco Resistance Unit supported the event, which saw more than 550 people attend.

“Just as opioid misuse does not discriminate based on age, race, gender, or social class, we have seen vaping and e-cigarette usage surge throughout Pennsylvania touching many groups, but especially our teenagers,” Jen Smith, DDAP secretary, said. “The knowledge gained from summit participates will help local communities, neighbors, and ultimately the future of Pennsylvania.”

Speakers included representatives from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Pittsburgh, and The American Lung Association.

Attendees participated in discussions about identifying other cessation programs and opportunities within communities, engaging community coalitions and partners in adapting prevention approaches during the pandemic, addressing new e-cigarette product use in schools and the community, engaging youth in prevention efforts in a virtual environment, and the successes and challenges of school-based and community-based prevention programs.

The departments also held a presentation to discuss research, policies, and programs regarding the vaping epidemic.

Studies have shown that young people who use e-cigarettes are more likely to use other tobacco products.

Melina Druga

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