Sandra Shelson-Healthy Mississippi-Vaping
Sandra has been a member of the Rotary Club of Jackson since 2013.  Sandra graduated from Millsaps College and received her law degree from University of Illinois.  In addition to being involved in numerous organizations across Jackson, Sandra has been employed with Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi since 2004.  Sandra addressed the club today about the latest crisis in the health of our children “vaping”, specifically JUUL e-cigarettes.
Sandra started her presentation with positive new regarding smoking cessation and Mississippi’s improvement over the last 20 years, which includes number below the national average.  However, the numbers are misleading because replacing cigarettes are e-cigarettes and the health implications are not yet known.
Since 2010, there has been a 78% increase in e-cigarette usage, specifically among children and young people.  One in five high school students admit to vaping and one in 20 middle school students admit to vaping.  E-cigarette manufacturers, specifically JUUL, are targeting young people to buy their products.  Sandra showed a clip from the Today Show ( ) showing the number of young people that are using these products and the JUUL representative admitting that they know they are being used by children under age, but not willing to admit that they cause damage or that the company is targeting young people.
E-cigarette pods contain as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes and certain brands contain more.  These manufacturers are targeting children by creating flavors that would only be appealing to children such as cotton candy, marshmallow and fruit punch.  The FDA has recently made moves to eliminate the sale of flavors.  JUUL and other manufacturers are also using marketing techniques to target children such as social media platforms.  Additionally, the e-cigarette manufacturers are continuing to streamline the look of their products so that it is difficult for parents to tell an e-cigarette from a necessary school device such as flash drives or highlighter pens.
What can we do to dissuade the use of e-cigarettes?  Some suggestions include encouraging legislature to review ordinances around smoking that include ecigarettes, raising the age of purchase to 21  and utilizing vape detectors.  The Partnership for Healthy Mississippi has launched a campaign called “Break the Habit” which includes actually breaking devices ( and utilizing marketing strategies in the same way JUUL is selling the devices.
Sandra fielded several questions regarding vaping.