How Insurance Works

Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI)

– E-cigs and vaping, working
with our school administrators who’re out in the field, they’ll tell you quickly that it’s become more prevalent over the years and increasing at lower ages. It’s in every school, I
believe, in the United States and our district is no different. Our students don’t really
understand the impact of what it can do to their health. So we’re seeing it all the
way down to fifth grade in our school district. So right now it’s an epidemic, an epidemic not only
across the United States but in every district
in our state as well. So our mission is to be a catalyst to improve the health of Arkansans through evidence-based
research, public issue advocacy, and collaborative program development. – Arkansas Center for Health Improvements is that catalyst. They are at that entity that really helps to address issues from an
advocacy policy perspective, but also backed by, with
a evidence-based research. – I think the danger about vaping, particularly in our youth are that it’s kind of the new fad. And so the kids are trying it, there’s no odor, there’s no smell, they can hide it very easily,
but what they don’t recognize is how addictive a
product it’s delivering, and potentially how dangerous it is to vaporize liquid and
breathe it into your lungs. I think parents are
relatively blind to this, although the news has been
raising their awareness. This is something that I
think is much more pervasive, particularly in some of our communities in all levels of the income strata of students across our state. – As a student when I
think about vaping is that there’s a lot more people
that do than adults realize. And it’s quite worrying if I’m being honest, ’cause
you see it everywhere. And when you go up to colleges to visit, I’ve gone up and I’ve
stayed with a few friends that I had there in
college, it’s everywhere. I mean, it just has
taken hold of everything. It’s grabbed the youth culture
and it’s not letting go. – Students have a challenge with it, because they don’t think it’s a big deal, they don’t hear a whole lot about it. And when they use the devices
it really doesn’t taste like the old-fashioned cigarette smoke, they all report that it taste like candy, all the fruit flavors and other involved. So really with the coolness
aspect of it, and the fact that it doesn’t make ’em really
sick right off the bat, and it taste good, that’s what’s become the major issue for us. – The flavorings and the
packaging are really designed to attract minors. Although only 3.2% of
adults use e-cigarettes or vaping products, 20.8% of middle school and high
schoolers are current users. So this product which was
supposedly intended for adults has been a failed product
when it comes to adults, but their growth has been all due to illegal underage vaping and sales. – As vaping entered the US marketplace and penetrated Arkansas
over the last decade, I became very concerned
because of the lack of regulation, the widespread uptake, and the unknown health risks
from this new inhaled vapor. Electronic nicotine delivery
devices deliver nicotine which is highly addictive
and has no medical value, and the substances that are vaporized and inhaled into the lungs, I’m concerned still that this is new, and emerging epidemic
that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg. – ACHI and the Arkansas
Department of Health have a number of areas
where we’ve been working on over a long-term including areas of tobacco prevention and control. The vaping issue is more recent
and it’s rapidly evolving, but that’s one where we’ve been working, and ACHI’s been working, and we’ve been really
intersecting quite well. ACHI has done some good data analysis which we’ve borrowed from in terms of our policy recommendations to legislature, to the governor’s office, and we’ve actually had a
chance to co-present before the public health committee
of the state legislature. – To address the vaping threat, ACHI has taken several positions. Our policy board sent to all
members of the legislature a warning about this at the start of the General Assembly last year. We’ve tried to document and advertise the lack of regulation. Our General Assembly unfortunately prohibited local
communities from being able to locally make restrictions on these, so it does fall at the governor’s and the General Assembly’s lap. We’re trying to educate
those members of the threat. We’re trying to lift up and highlight the threat to the public. We’re trying to engage
our clinical workforce so they recognize what to look for and what to advise their
patients about the risk. As our center enters it’s third decade, I think we have fulfilled
the original purpose that was set out to be
true to our mission, to be a catalyst for change
while working with others. We have been charged with
making change happen. We don’t have deep pockets within which we can influence
the decision-makers, but by putting credible
information in a timely way in front of policymakers as
they have questions about what they should do. I think we’ve had a
strong effect on tobacco, on health insurance coverage, on obesity prevention,
on the clean indoor air that people breathe, on
the fluoride in our water, and I think we’ll be successful in this vaping effort also. (lively music)

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