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Mayor Adams, AG James announce $27m initiative to combat youth vaping in NYC

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In a united effort to tackle the alarming rise in youth vaping, New York Attorney General Letitia James and Mayor Eric Adams announced a significant $27.1 million funding boost aimed at combating this growing public health crisis in New York City.

The announcement was made at an event attended by various city officials, educators, and representatives from Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes.

Attorney General James highlighted the gravity of the issue, noting that companies like Juul have intentionally marketed their addictive products to young people, leading to widespread nicotine addiction among students.

“We’ve seen firsthand just how harmful this is to our kids’ mental and physical health,” James stated.

The settlement funds, part of a historic $462 million multi-state agreement with Juul, will be directed towards education, prevention, research, and enforcement programs designed to curb youth vaping.

Mayor Eric Adams emphasized the importance of this initiative, citing the aggressive marketing tactics used by cigarette companies to target minors. “Juul was clear with their marketing strategy. They knew who they were going after,” Adams remarked, expressing concern over the long-term health impacts of vaping on young people.

The event featured heartfelt speeches from various community leaders and students, underscoring the pervasive nature of the vaping epidemic. Dr. Kevin Froner, Principal of Manhattan Hunter Science High School, shared his observations on the mental health challenges exacerbated by nicotine addiction among students.

“Kids as young as middle school began vaping and inhaling nicotine because they were lured by catchy marketing and enticing fruity flavors,” he explained.

Jalyssa Jarvis, an 11th-grade student and athlete, provided a poignant student perspective, highlighting how vaping disrupts both academic performance and physical health among her peers.

“It’s a distraction and an addiction, leading many students to leave their classrooms to vape in the bathroom or staircase,” Jarvis said, advocating for increased awareness and support programs to address the issue.

The funds from the settlement will be distributed across New York City and will support local enforcement of vaping laws, youth education initiatives, and prevention programs. Additionally, the settlement imposes strict restrictions on Juul’s marketing practices to prevent future targeting of minors. “Juul cannot directly or indirectly target youth in their marketing,” James confirmed.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal echoed these sentiments, acknowledging the need for continued vigilance and education to protect young people from the dangers of vaping. “This remains a crisis,” Levine stated, pointing out the resurgence of vaping products in illegal smoke shops and the ongoing need for public health interventions.

The initiative marks a critical step forward in addressing the youth vaping epidemic, with city officials, educators, and community leaders committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of New York’s children.

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