BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The Berkeley Heights Township Council has passed a resolution urging the Governor to address the youth vaping health crisis.
The resolution, passed unanimously during the council’s September 24 meeting, “urges the Governor of New Jersey to address this youth vaping health crisis by thoroughly exploring all options available to reduce the public health risk to minors."
The council hopes other municipalities will pass similar resolutions to address the issue.
“It’s a major concern for middle schoolers and high schoolers, and I really hope we can be successful in getting other towns around to do this [and for] our governor to take some action,” said Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley.
Though the federal government already bans the sale of vaping products to minors, the council says minors’ usage of vaping products remains a concern. High school students’ usage of e-cigarettes has increased 78% between 2017 and 2018, the resolution says, citing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Kids are using flavored, odorless cartridge-based vaping products directly while in school, including in bathrooms, hallways, and classrooms,” the resolution says. “The surgeon general and other federal health officials have determined the vaping issue among children to qualify as an epidemic.”
“There are over 15,500 e-liquid flavors for vaping devices, some of which create an inflammatory response, some of which are cytotoxic to lung cells, and some of which may play a role in addiction,” the resolution says.
As of this writing, the CDC has confirmed 12 deaths and 805 cases of lung injury due to e-cigarette use or vaping. The CDC “recommends that [people] consider refraining from using e-cigarette or vaping products.” It encourages anyone who has used vaping products and experiences symptoms similar to those reported in the outbreak to see a healthcare provider.