Addressing the Alarming Teen Usage of E-Cigarettes on Guam

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Addressing the Alarming Teen Usage of E-Cigarettes on Guam
According to Guam news outlet Guampdn, Dr. Annette David reveals that Guam has the highest teen e-cigarette usage rate worldwide.

According to a report from GuamPDN, Dr. Annette David, who has studied tobacco control for 30 years, has revealed that Guam, a U.S. territory, has the highest rate of e-cigarette use among teenagers worldwide.


Dr. David shared these astonishing statistical figures with senators during the public hearing held on Tuesday. The hearing primarily focused on multiple bills proposed by Senator Sabina Perez to curb tobacco use among young people on the island.


Senator Perez pointed out that bills 186, 187, 194, and 185 aim to strengthen tobacco control laws, eliminate loopholes, reduce access to tobacco and nicotine products, particularly among adolescents, and allocate more resources towards education, prevention, smoking cessation, and regulation enforcement.


Dr. David clarifies that the data mentioned in the legislation regarding the usage of e-cigarettes among one-quarter of middle and high school students is based on a 2017 survey. However, data collected in 2019 reveals that this proportion has increased to one-third, with 35% of high school and middle school students using e-cigarettes.


This has the highest usage rate among teenagers worldwide. Not only the highest in the United States, but also the highest globally," she said.


Dr. emphasizes the need to prevent the intergenerational spread of nicotine addiction and potential future health hazards. Tobacco prevention requires five key elements, which can contribute to reducing this alarming figure.


There are five key strategies that can be employed to tackle adolescent smoking in order to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use among young people. The first strategy is to address the availability of tobacco products. This can be achieved by implementing measures to reduce the supply and distribution of tobacco. The second strategy involves limiting the accessibility of tobacco. This can be done by implementing policies and regulations that restrict the ability of young people to obtain tobacco products. The third strategy focuses on pricing. Increasing tobacco taxes can effectively raise the price of tobacco products, making them less affordable for adolescents. The fourth strategy is to promote a non-acceptance culture towards smoking and other forms of tobacco use. This involves destigmatizing smoking and implementing policies that discourage its normalization. Lastly, the fifth strategy aims to tackle the allure of tobacco use. This can be achieved by implementing comprehensive advertising bans and other measures that prevent the glamourization of smoking or other forms of tobacco use. By implementing these strategies, it is possible to effectively reduce the rates of adolescent smoking and protect the health of young people.


Furthermore, she suggested that the senators revise the definition of e-cigarettes in the bill, expanding its scope to include both existing and future devices, and not be restricted solely to nicotine-containing products.


She pointed out that after laboratory testing, it was indeed found that some products claiming to be nicotine-free did contain certain levels of nicotine.


Dr. David also suggests including e-cigarettes in the current regulations that require advertising or warning labels on products and incorporating them into smoke-free and taxation laws.


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