Get support for knocking out nicotine use at health department’s Tuesday forum

BUCKHANNON – Want to learn how to quit smoking or vaping?

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 26, could be the first day of the rest of your nicotine-free life.

The Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department is offering a chance to learn how to quit smoking or vaping at 2 p.m. at its location, 15 N. Locust St.

Dr. Joseph Reed said there will be an open discussion on how to quit smoking or vaping.

If there’s a will, there’s a way, Reed added.

“People have to make the decision to quit,” he said. “What I wanted to do was help people and provide suggestions and advice to people who have made up their mind to quit.”

He said smoking is the most preventable cause of health issues such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and lung disease.

“I go to schools and talk to the kids and try to tell them about staying away from tobacco,” Reed said. “I also ask them how many of them live in a home with a family member that uses tobacco, and it’s over 50 percent.”

He said there is also a newer product that can be just as addictive as cigarettes, but not all the side effects are known yet.

Vaping doesn’t apparently have as many chemicals as tobacco smoke,” Reed said, “but we’re finding more and more about the problems and potential problems there are with vaping and it still contains nicotine like tobacco.”

He said the chemicals in the vapor of e-cigarettes have the potential problem of causing a condition known as “popcorn lung,” which he said is untreatable and very progressive.

At its Thursday, Feb. 14 meeting, the Upshur County Commission declared February E-Cigarette/JUUling Awareness month after the Centers for Disease Control found a 78 percent increase in e-cigarette use by teens in just one year.

“The effects of nicotine, especially on a young person’s brain is the same from any source, just like drugs or alcohol,” Reed said. “It affects the development of the brain, and that is how that addiction would start.”

The meeting may become a monthly if the first one goes well, and there will never be cost to participate, Reed added.

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