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Mid-Missouri takes initiatives against youth e-cigarette use

Mid-Missouri cities and counties are taking steps to prevent and stop young people from using e-cigarettes and tobacco products.

Boone County is rolling out an e-cigarette cessation program targeted at college students ages 18 to 24-years-old .

The 6-week online program allows college students to work with health educators in a virtual group setting.

“We wanted to make it as convenient for people to quit as possible,” said Boone County Educator Sarah Varvaro.

D. Guarav Kulkarni, a psychiatrist, said the online aspect of the course helps students feel less intimidated to join compared to an in-person class.

“The stigma associated with using nicotine products, alcohol or drugs for that reason is still high,” he said. “Offering a course which is geared towards college students with the online platform is a great way of getting these young college students help.”

In 2018, 17% of MU students reported using e-cigarettes, according to the Missouri Assessment of College Health Behaviors.

Registration for the e-cigarette cessation program closes after April 16. Email to sign up for the program.

Other mid-Missouri municipalities are working to combat e-cigarette use among young people.

Hallsville, Missouri passed a Tobacco 21 law this week and Eldon, Missouri passed a Tobacco 21 law that went into effect March 27, according to the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation.

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