American Heart Association commits $20M to ‘end lies about youth vaping’

One in four school students nationwide reports using e-cigarettes and News4Jax is committed to covering the unintended consequences of teenage vaping.

We’ve covered the stories of teens dying or ending up in the hospital with vaping related illnesses.

The American Heart Association is taking a tough stance on e-cigarettes, investing $20 million in research on a campaign it says will end the lies about youth vaping.

The campaign has three central components:

  • A new $20 million research investment, called the End the Lies Youth Vaping and Nicotine Research Initiative, which will focus urgently on the impact of vaping and nicotine use on youth, funding two or three scientists who will work intensely over the next two years to address the fact that there is no knowledge about the long-term health effects in youth.
  • An aggressive, nationwide youth, school and community engagement and awareness campaign, dubbed #QuitLying, (QuitLying.org) designed to hold e-cigarette companies publicly accountable for their lies.
  • An impactful, multi-year fund dedicated to public policy change at all levels of government to prevent youth vaping and nicotine addiction, with foundational support from Kaiser Permanente.

“The launch of this game-changing research initiative marks a sentinel moment in the fight to prevent youth vaping and protect our children from nicotine addiction,” said Robert Harrington, M.D., FAHA, president of the American Heart Association. “This research project, one of the largest ever funded by the Association, will help us answer critical questions about the health consequences of vaping and nicotine addiction, particularly in youth.”

The #QuitLying campaign empowers youth with facts and tools for social media sharing via the QuitLying.org website. The platform allows students, teachers and parents to access and share educational resources, tips and tools for quitting e-cigarette use, and guidance on becoming activists in the fight wherever they are. Plans are in development to create a nationwide day of activation early next year leveraging the hashtag #QuitLying, as well as school and community forums designed to elevate the dialogue and combat the industry’s misinformation with facts about the health threats posed by e-cigarette use on youth.

“E-cigarette companies lie to our kids when they falsely claim their products are safe, and they deceive parents by marketing devices that look like USB drives, pens and eye liner,” said Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association. “The industry’s lies don’t just sound like Big Tobacco – the industry IS Big Tobacco. We are providing outraged students, parents and educators alike with a forum and the tools to seize control of the narrative and call out the industry as the liars they are to protect the health and safety of our nation’s kids. Together we are demanding that Big Vape #QuitLying.”

For more on the newly launched initiatives, click here.

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