Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF SEP. 14, 2020

Health warnings sink in: Vaping drops among teens and pre-teens

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Vaping and e-cigarettes are relatively new. Identify a different product or service in news coverage that didn’t exist a dozen years ago.
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Read another medical or wellness report and tell how it's important or could apply to your family.
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Now find an article or photo of a separate safety risk and tell why it's in the news.

In a year full of medical concerns, here's welcome health news: Vaping use among U.S. high school and middle school students has declined in 2020 for the first time in three years. A national survey by the federal Centers for Disease Control found that fewer than 20 percent of high school students and 5 percent of middle school students said they recently used e-cigarettes or vaping products. Last year's rate was 28 percent for high schoolers and 11 percent for middle schoolers. "This does look like a very substantial decrease in a single year and it's very encouraging," says Kenneth Warner, a retired University of Michigan professor.

Experts think news of vaping-related illnesses and deaths may scare some kids. They also believe higher age limits (now 21 for sales) and flavor bans contribute to the drop. But the study issued last week includes a less-encouraging sign: Among high schoolers who use electronic cigarettes, a larger share are heavy users who vape on most days. Heavy users now account for 39 percent of all high school users, up from 34 percent in 2019. The survey was distributed through schools to about 20,000 students.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a U.S. government agency, earlier this year barred flavors from small vaping devices like Juul and others mainly used by minors. The policy doesn't cover apply to disposable e-cigarettes, which still can have sweet, candylike flavors. "Youth use of e-cigarettes remains a public health crisis that is affecting children, families, schools and communities," says Commissioner Stephen Hahn of the FDA. Separate research shows a recent decline in teen tobacco smoking to all-time lows — about 6%. Specialists are watching to see if that age group’s smoking rate rises again as fewer young people vape.

Prevention specialist says: "We cannon rest on our laurels." -- Brian King, with the Centers for Disease Control

Health crusader says: "As long as any flavored e-cigarettes are left on the market, kids will get their hands on them and we will not solve this crisis." -- Matt Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Federal official says: "This is good news. However, the FDA remains very concerned about the 3.6 million U.S. youth who currently use e-cigarettes and we acknowledge there is work that still needs to be done to curb youth use." – Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA commisioner

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2020
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