More kids use e-cigarettes than smoke today. For some, this may seem like a victory in the fight against tobacco use. But a public-awareness campaign, created locally and launched this month, provides the facts about electronic cigarettes.

The “It’s Not Just Water” initiative, sponsored in part by the Tobacco Free Coalition of Lancaster County, hopes to get young people’s attention with facts like:

  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which is proven to be addictive and can potentially slow brain and body development in young children and teenagers.
     

  • E-cigarette companies have been purchased by large tobacco companies and they have dramatically increased spending on advertising -- from $6.4 million in 2011 to $115 million in 2014.
     

  • The three million American middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes would fill each seat in every NFL stadium and NBA arena, while still having enough students to fill Penn State's stadium – twice.
     

  • The other primary ingredients of e-cigarettes are flavorings, vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol.

In Lancaster, according to the Pennsylvania Youth Survey, 13.5 percent of middle and high school students used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days; of those who used, 20 percent did not know what substance was in the e-cigarette.

The jury may still be out on the health consequences of vaping but the “It’s Not Just Water” campaign has a simple message: There is one thing we know for sure -- it’s safer not to vape at all.

You can get more information about the “It’s Not Just Water” campaign by visiting www.itsnotjustwater.org. You can also like the campaign on Facebook and Instagram.

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