Emily LaDouceur

Berea City Council member Emily LaDouceur was on hand at a meeting of the Richmond City Commission recently in support of a proclamation urging citizen education about the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes.

LaDouceur looked on as City of Richmond Mayor Robert Blythe signed a proclamation entitled “Educate Citizens about the Dangers of E-cigarettes and Vaping.” LaDouceur was joined by public health and youth advocates Phillis Adams, Lloyd Jordison, Tony Miller, and David Eastman.

Now that Madison County Judge/Executive Reagan Taylor and Mayor Blythe have signed the proclamation, the issue will next come to Berea for support from Mayor Bruce Fraley, Madison County School District Superintendent David Gilliam, and Berea Independent School District Superintendent Diane Hatchett.

In her statement at the event, LaDouceur urged a persistent and unified approach in the effort to educate people about the health risks of e-cigarettes and vaping.

“According to the surgeon general, vaping among high school students increased by 900 percent from 2011 to 2015. The whole nation is now scrambling to find effective ways to discourage vaping and educate kids and their families on the dangers of e-cigarette use in what the FDA is calling an epidemic,” LaDouceur said. “It is important to note that a proclamation is a critical first step in raising awareness, but must be followed by continued education of the public. We’ve all been led to believe that vaping is a ‘safer’ alternative to smoking traditional tobacco products and the research simply does not support such claims.”

LaDouceur continued:

“It will take a community effort to dispel the myths and provide accurate information to the public so our children feel empowered to make healthy decisions for themselves. We know that in today’s socio-political and economic environment, families are oftentimes struggling to survive and find it difficult to keep up with the many trends, often unhealthy, that our youth face. School communities are left to fill in gaps, including our amazing school resource officers,” said LaDoueur. “Non-profits fill in gaps, charitable citizens fill gaps, and also, our government fills gaps. One of the easiest contributions we can provide to fill these gaps is to give up-to-date and accurate information to the community. As the late Maya Angelou said, ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.’ Thank you to everyone who works diligently to make sure we are empowering children and families to make healthier decisions. I look forward to this effort as it makes its way throughout Madison County.”

(City of Berea)

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