Despite New Jersey having strong tobacco control policies and laws, tobacco use continues to run rampant among our youth. Electronic smoking devices are undoubtedly the younger generations’ go-to tobacco product, just as cigarettes were for previous generations.
E-cigarettes remained the most used tobacco product among middle-and-high-schoolers in 2021, and in New Jersey, over 1 in 4 high schoolers used an electronic vapor product in the past 30 days. It’s no secret that adolescents who vape or smoke, even occasionally, have a higher chance of becoming daily smokers by adulthood. So, while marketed as a safer alternative to cigarettes – and in a colorful, flavorful way that’s appealing to youth – there is nothing safe about these products.
In prior decades, youth were persistently taught about the dangers of cigarettes and tobacco products of the time by programs like D.A.R.E. These days, tobacco products come in many forms and functions, yet little has been done to educate on the dangers and consequences.
To ensure we don’t live in a future where tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in New Jersey and the nation, Tobacco Free for a Healthy New Jersey (TFHNJ) – the state’s largest collaborative effort to reduce the health consequences of tobacco use, vaping, and secondhand smoke – is leading the charge to reduce adolescent tobacco use by addressing the problem and the sources that fuel it in Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey through youth tobacco action groups, adult training and providing curriculum to schools and universities, to name a few.
This week’s guest on SBN Newsmakers is Eric Kakauridze, tobacco programs supervisor for Tobacco-Free NJ. You can watch the conversation in the player below.
Steve Lubetkin is the news director for StateBroadcastNews.com. Steve’s journalism background includes print and broadcast reporting for NJ news organizations. He refocused on multimedia journalism and podcast production after a long career in corporate branded journalism and public relations.
He has won numerous awards for his audio and video news reporting from the Garden State Journalists Association, and he has also been recognized for video by the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has produced a wide range of audio and video podcasts in his other role as managing partner of State Broadcast News’s parent, The Lubetkin Media Companies.
Steve is co-author, with Toronto-based podcasting pioneer Donna Papacosta, of the book, The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional.
In March 2021, he was elected to the board of directors of the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and in July 2021 he was named secretary of the chapter. In August 2021, he was honored by SPJ with one of the organization’s 2021 Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Awards, given to regular members of an SPJ chapter who go above and beyond in serving their chapter.
Steve has been the computer columnist for the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey, since 1996.
Steve also has reported on-camera and produces virtual conferences for NJSpotlightNews.org, a public policy news coverage website focused on New Jersey government and industry; and for clients of StateBroadcastNews.com, a division of The Lubetkin Media Companies LLC.
From May-November 2019, he produced and reported a weekly podcast, The CRE News Hour, a news and features program focusing on the commercial real estate industry.
From 2014 to 2019 he was New Jersey and Philadelphia editor for GlobeSt.com and filled in covering Chicago/Midwest and Atlanta.
Steve has also served (from August 2017 to March 2018) as national broadcast news correspondent for CEOReport.com, a news website focused on practical advice for senior executives in small- and medium-sized companies.
Earlier in his career, Steve reported on rock music at the Jersey Shore for the Asbury Park Press, and was a broadcast news anchor and production engineer for WJLK-AM & FM, then owned by the Press. He also worked as a general assignment reporter for the Red Bank Register, Shrewsbury, NJ.
You can email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org.