RD110 - Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth 2016 Annual Report
I am pleased to report to you that tobacco use among Virginia’s young people continues to be on the decline. Our latest Virginia Youth Survey results demonstrate that tobacco prevention works and that Virginia’s kids are choosing healthy lifestyles. However, we are also observing a troubling trend: While youth cigarette smoking is plummeting within the commonwealth, the use of e-cigarettes and similar nicotine delivery devices is sharply climbing. More than twice as many high school students are now using e-cigarettes as traditional cigarettes. Because e-cigarette liquids are often sold in flavors such as bubble gum and gummy bears that are attractive to minors, we must be constantly vigilant and continue to adjust to future trends in youth nicotine and tobacco use.
We are proud of our continuing progress and due to our success at empowering Virginia’s youth to make healthy choices, the General Assembly voted during its 2017 session to expand the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s mission to include youth substance-use prevention and reduction. We expect to be sharing more about this in the year to come as we consult with our Board of Trustees and begin the process of assessing how VFHY can collaborate with our stakeholders and implement initiatives to effectively prevent and reduce youth substance use.
As always, on behalf of everyone at VFHY, we thank you for your continued support of our mission and for everything you do to help Virginia’s children lead healthier, happier lives.
/s/ Marty H. Kilgore
Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth