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Public health agencies partner with elected officials and community groups to address the rise in e-cigarette use.

PMG FILE PHOTO - A community forum on the rise in vaping among young people is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23 at Tualatin High School.
 National speaker set to present on vaping
Tualatin High School will play host to a community forum Thursday, Jan. 23, about e-cigarettes and vaping.

The forum is scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at The Commons at Tualatin High School, 22300 S.W. Boones Ferry Road. There is no charge to attend, and anyone who is interested in participating is welcome.

In a news release from the Washington County Department of Human Services, state Rep. Rachel Prusak, a West Linn Democrat who represents Tualatin in the Legislature and has experience as a nurse practitioner, said, "Vaping is a growing problem in our public school system."

Prusak continued, "Our students are being targeted by vaping companies and are developing a potentially lifelong addiction. There is a lot of misinformation around the safety of vaping, and our goal is to bring lifesaving information to our communities."

The forum's panel will include Prusak and two other area lawmakers: Rep. Andrea Salinas and Sen. Rob Wagner, both Lake Oswego Democrats. Wagner also represents Tualatin in the Oregon Senate.

Also represented at the forum will be the Oregon Health Authority, Washington and Clackamas counties' public health divisions, the American Cancer Society, and the Providence Rebels, a student-led organization focused on preventing tobacco use among teens and young adults.

Washington County's tobacco prevention and education program coordinator, Gwyn Ashcom, said in a statement that the rise in the use of vaping and e-cigarette products is "a growing problem that requires a comprehensive response."

Ashcom said, "We all have a role to prevent youth from developing a lifelong addiction to nicotine."

Other partners in the Tualatin High School forum include Community Living Above, Tualatin Together and Tigard Turns the Tide, as well as the Oregon Health Authority and the American Cancer Society.

For more information, call 503-846-4544.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misspelled the last name of the Washington County tobacco prevention coordinator. Her name is Gwyn Ashcom. In one reference, the story also misspelled the name of the home city of Andrea Salinas and Rob Wagner, which is Lake Oswego. The story has been corrected.


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