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NM health center gets grant to address dangers of vaping

“The grant will cover marijuana use and vaping,” said La Casa’s Behavioral Health prevention coordinator.

The New Mexico Department of Health is now requiring warning labels for vaping products containing marijuana derive THC, following numerous cases of vaping related illnesses.

“There’s no clarity actually,” said Oscar Fernandez, who works at a local smoke shop. “They’re blaming it on the THC cartridges not being labeled and then they’re talking about devices– that’s two different things.”

Rutley said THC vaping is a growing problem among youth.

“We have 14 reported cases, hospitalizations in New Mexico alone, nationwide 805, and 12 deaths,”said Rutley. “ So, this is a public health emergency.”

The grant will focus on programs to help alleviate the problem, and bridge the gap between youth and health officials.

“Our program that we proposed with our $300,000 grant is including focus groups with youth in Chaves County so we understand how they see the problem– what their influences are in Chaves County.”

Rutley said awareness is key.

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