Beyond the Clouds: Institute Addresses Vaping’s Impact on Health

Jackson, MS (January 3, 2024) – The prevalence of tobacco use remains alarmingly high, particularly among youth and certain adult demographics in Mississippi. Despite concerted efforts to explain the harmful impact of tobacco, a significant segment of the population continues to use tobacco products.  Tobacco usage among youth declined, but there has been an increase in the use of e-cigarettes.  Vaping has grown in popularity over the past decade.  However, what seems like a harmless, cool activity to teens and young adults is very harmful.   

Results from the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey indicated that 2.5 million high school and middle school students report current use of e-cigarettes. Disposable e-cigarettes are the most popularly used devices among youth users. 

Vaping is marketed to teens and adults as fun, enticing, and an alternative to nicotine cigarettes.  However, there is more to vape cloud than meets the eye.  E-cigarette users inhale large quantities of chemicals such as nicotine, and harmful metals.  According to the American Heart Association, emerging studies have found that short-term exposure to aerosolized flavorings in e-cigarettes can have damaging effects that put the user at risk for cardiovascular disease.  Additionally, these substances can lead to breathing problems, organ damage, addiction, anxiety, and depression.  

Through its partnership with the Mississippi Department Office of Tobacco Control, the Institute for the Advancement of Health takes a community-based approach to reducing vape use while raising awareness regarding the dangers of e-cigarettes to African American males 12 years old and older in the Mississippi Delta.  This approach involves parents, key stakeholders, and public health professionals working together to inform the citizens about the dangers of vaping.  

Vaping is a serious issue in our state.  Data Mississippi State Department of Health states that within a five-day period 1 out of 5 teens (21.3%) use e-cigarettes.  “We want parents and educators to be aware of the impact of e-cigarettes,” said Sandra Melvin, CEO of the Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health.  “For example, the JUUL (jewel), is a USB flash drive-shaped e-cigarette that students use on school campuses, in classrooms, and bathrooms.”  According to information from the Centers for Disease Control, a single JUUL pod can contain as much nicotine as a pack of 20 regular cigarettes.

Melvin emphasized the importance of enhancing education and resource accessibility to facilitate the adoption of a healthier lifestyle in the Mississippi Delta and throughout the state. She stated, “Our initiatives and outreach aim to improve the chances of success for individuals opting to discontinue their use of any tobacco product.”

If you need assistance to stop vaping or using tobacco products, please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. For additional information about the Institute’s tobacco program, reach out to Asia McCoy, MPH,Vice President of Community-Based Programs at or 769-572-5263.

Media Contacts: 

Dr. Sandra Melvin, (769) 572-5263


The Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health was established in 2019 to reduce health disparities among disadvantaged and underserved minority populations in Mississippi through the development of collaborative partnerships with community stakeholders and the implementation of evidence-based public health interventions with a particular focus on health equity.  


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