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This month, the “Take Charge of Your Health Today” page focuses on electronic-cigarette research and usage. Jennifer Jones, MPH, community engagement senior coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and Esther L. Bush, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, discussed this topic.

EB: Good afternoon, Jennifer. Can you believe August marks six years that we have been publishing these pages in the Courier? It has gone so fast, and I am truly grateful for this partnership. I know that a lot of important health and research information has gone to the thousands of readers, encouraging them to “Take Charge” of their health.

JJ: It truly has gone so fast! I counted, as we have published 57 unique pages on over 50 health topics.

EB: Truly a pleasure to be involved. I’ve been looking forward to learning and talking more about e-cigarettes. Is it just me or does it seem like more people are using these products?

JJ: I’ve noticed it, too, Esther. Reports from the Office of the Surgeon General show that e-cigarette usage has greatly increased over the last five years. More high school students smoke e-cigarettes than regular cigarettes, and usage is higher in that population than in adults (https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/). Electronic nicotine products are seen as a “trendy” and “cool” way to smoke, especially because many of these products use flavored liquids that taste and smell better than traditional tobacco smoke.

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