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UK students offer vaping counseling

Posted: 5:55 PM, Dec 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-13 18:49:54-05
EVALI: The CDC has given a name to the vaping-related lung illness that has killed at least 26 people

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — According to the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, the growing vaping epidemic has reached more than a quarter of Kentucky's high school students.

In fact, the use of vaping products has become so abundant, that the University of Kentucky has now launched a program on campus called #IcanEndTheTrend. It aims to not only educate college students about the harmful effects of e-cigarettes and other vaping products, but then have those students go into classrooms across Kentucky to educate elementary to high school aged students about what they've learned.

In the past year, these UK tobacco-free ambassadresses have been to over 50 schools, across 18 different counties in Kentucky and have reached over 4,000 students.

UK Associate Professor, Dr. Melinda Ickes launched the program and has watched it grow, she says that programs like this, that pair younger students with older allies, really help create an environment of trust.

Hayley Leach is one of UK's tobacco-free ambassadresses and she says, "I think they feel far more comfortable talking about the issue with someone like me who sees it on my own college campus, and has seen it within my own friend group."