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State targets teens with anti-vaping campaign

Vaporizers or "vapes" for vaping nicotine.

Indiana is targeting teenagers with a new media campaign against vaping.

The Indiana State Department of Health has launched the "Behind the Haze" public awareness campaign as part of a $2 million initiative to persuade youth not to vape.

"Most teens don’t really know what these products contain,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said. “We hope that this campaign educates youth about what they could be putting into their bodies and helps protect them from the lung injuries and nicotine addiction that we are seeing across our state.”

More than 104 people have been hospitalized with vaping-related lung injuries and four have died, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

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Nonetheless, the Indiana Youth Tobacco Survey found vaping has skyrocketed by more than 350% among middle and high school students.

Indiana's vaping reduction campaign focuses on prevention, education and cessation. It's expected to reach more than 32,000 students in 52 schools through the "Sweet Deception" program at school convocations.

“We know that young people are more likely to pay attention to a message designed to change their behaviors when it’s delivered by their peers,” said Miranda Spitznagle, director of the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission. “This campaign speaks to youth in clear, no-nonsense language and will reach them on media platforms that they’re most likely to use, like Instagram and Facebook.”

For more information, visit vapefreeindiana.isdh.in.gov.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.