Dayton Gets Real: Clark County Health bringing awareness about tobacco racial disparities

The Clark County Combined Health District is bringing awareness about the number of people smoking in the county, particularly children.

>>RELATED: Mercy Health in Springfield wants to help people quit smoking

News Center 7′s Kayla McDermott the health district held a public debate Friday afternoon and said the percentage of students who are smoking is shocking.

Health officials say smoking is impacting children and children of color are impacted more than any other group.

In Clark County, close to nine percent of African American students smoked a cigarette before the age of 13-years old.

More than 14% of African American students in high schools throughout the county smoke more than 10 cigarettes per day, according to Clark County Public Health.

Officials say most students said they had their first cigarettes inside of their homes.

“When you’re talking to kids in this environment, this is something they say, ‘Well, my parents let me smoke vape,’” said Chris Cook, Clark County Public Health Commissioner. ‘Yeah, that was a hard reality, harsh reality.”

>>RELATED: Third of Ohio high school students use tobacco, one of highest youth use rates in US, report says

McDermott says public health is concerned about young people smoking, vaping, and using tobacco.

They are pushing for more policies and programs for people to stop smoking and urge people to use Ohio’s Tobacco Quit Line.

For more information, visit this website.