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QCA coalition holds training to talk about vaping and smoking

BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) — A third person from Illinois has died after a vaping-related lung injury. That’s according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Friday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. community members and health experts gathered to talk about vaping, harms of tobacco, cancer prevention/screening. The “Clearing the air” clinical training was held inside the Quad Cities Community Foundation in Bettendorf.

The group could have been anywhere but they chose to be here.
“One in four youth even locally and nationwide are vaping,” said Kristi Siwajek, UnityPoint Health Cancer Center Community Outreach Coordinator.

A number that they say is too high.

“Most popular brand of vape has the equivalent of one pack of cigarettes,” said Siwajek.

Maria Van Leer works at Rosecrance New Life Outpatient in Davenport, as an addiction counselor. Her outpatient facility focuses on helping people with substance abuse. Despite that, she says she continues to provide patients with resources to help them stop smoking.

“So in outpatient clinics a lot of times you can still smoke. It’s really important for us to be advocates of quitting tobacco as well,” said Van Leer.

Whether it’s smoking cigarettes or vaping. Experts say this is isn’t something going away.

“In the QCA almost 20%, I think she said 19.8% of people are smoking and the national average is 11%.

An average that they are hoping to decrease by providing resources. Health experts say the 1-800-Quit now line is not only receiving calls from traditional tobacco smokers but people struggling to stop vaping.

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