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Georgia Healthy Family Alliance

Tar Wars: Combatting the Increase of E-Cigarette Use Among Georgia’s Youth.

Because when youth never start smoking or vaping they never have to stop.                                                                                                                                                                         

HB 287 Signed Into Law Requiring Vape Prevention in Georgia Schools

During the 2021 Georgia General Assembly, House Bill 287 was passed and signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp on April 27, 2021. The new law adds “vapor products” to existing Georgia law that requires tobacco and alcohol use prevention education for public school students in Georgia and mandates vaping  prevention education for Georgia students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Each local school board has until December 31, 2021 to implement vaping education  programming in schools.

 The National Institutes of Health on e-cigarettes: “We have never seen as many kids become addicted to a substance in a single year as we’ve seen with this product.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nationally 3.6 million youth – I in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students reported vaping in 2020.                                                                                                                                                      

 According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, in 2018 26.1 percent of High School students in Georgia reported using e-cigarettes. “The number of students who tried e-cigarettes, even once or twice, had also increased by 66 percent.

Stop them before they start with Tar Wars.

Tar Wars is an early prevention tobacco and vaping education and prevention program for students offered by the Georgia Healthy Family Alliance (GHFA) at no cost to Georgia schools thanks to the generosity of the W.G. Raoul Foundation. The national program is a tool to combat the alarming uptick of vaping device use among middle and high school students as combustible tobacco product has decreased.

Presented by family physician, medical student and resident volunteers, Tar Wars educates elementary students about the dangerous health effects of tobacco and vape use, the costs associated with using tobacco products and the effective advertising and messaging techniques used by the tobacco / e-cigarette industry to market its products to youth.

Complete the form below to volunteer or schedule a Tar Wars presentation in your Georgia community or contact ksinkule@gafp.org.

Tar Wars

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Why Tar Wars?

 

Georgia School Nurses know E-cigarette and Vape use is surging in Middle and High Schools.                                           Our school nurse partners report students first start using e-cigarettes because they believe they are harmless. They don’t realize Nicotine, a key ingredient in tobacco products, is an addictive drug. Tobacco use by and around children and adolescents is a particular concern due to increased risk for addiction and passive exposure. Smoking is a known cause of cancer, heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Young people who use e-cigarettes, such as the popular JUUL brand, are more likely to transition to combustible cigarettes.

The image below shows the dramatic increase of tobacco product usage among middle and high schoolers in the U.S. from 2011-2018. Source:MMR,Vital Signs

Financial support for Tar Wars is provided by the AAFP Foundation’s Family Medicine Philanthropic Consortium (FMPC)  which is funded by GAFP members.  Help programs like this continue to support family medicine by giving to the FMPC. Select “Chapter Grants” when making your gift https://www.aafpfoundation.org/foundation/get-involved/give/donation-form.html(www.aafpfoundation.org).