The Delaware General Health District is preparing for its second annual tobacco survey, while also seeking members for its task force to combat youth vaping.
The Delaware Community Tobacco Survey will be posted on the organization’s Facebook page soon said Jamica Harper, a community health specialist with the DGHD. Harper said the survey is designed to gauge public feelings about tobacco use in general as well as specific situations.
Harper said the survey will be anonymous, and the health district is looking for “a wide overview.”
“We just kind of want to see where we are as a community,” she said.
Harper added this survey is focused specifically on the city of Delaware, and she encouraged all city residents to take it.
According to Harper, the survey will have questions about if smoking should be allowed at schools and public events; if smoking should be permitted in multi-unit housing; as well as how the community feels about e-cigarettes and vaping.
In addition to the survey, the health district is also seeking members of the community to get involved in its Youth Vape Task Force, which aims to educate the community about vaping among youth.
“(The task force will) advocate against the use of e-cigarettes among the youth,” Harper said. “(We’re) trying to be present in the community when it comes to youth vaping and turning the dial back on youth use.”
Harper said the task force was formed out of a grant and exists because many members of the community don’t know about vaping or its dangers.
“We really want to focus on educating our community on the dangers of vaping,” she said. “A lot of adults don’t understand that it’s prevalent among youth. (Vaping can lead youth to get) addicted to nicotine and can lead to continuation of smoking cigarettes. We want our community to know that vaping is bad and it is addictive.”
Harper added vaping can cause lung disease, which is even more concerning during the COVID-19 outbreak, and even though tobacco purchasing can only be done by those 21 and older, school resources officers have reported seeing students use e-cigarettes in schools.
Harper said the task force meets regularly online via Microsoft Teams to discuss the issue, and the task force is currently seeking members from the business and media sectors as well as members from faith-based organizations and involved citizens.
“We’re really looking for individuals who can participate,” she said.
Interested parties can contact Harper at 740-203-2033 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next meeting of the task force will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 29 on Microsoft Teams.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.