Pictured from left are Marie Kovecsi and Phil Huerta.

Learning Club hears about e-cig epidemic


On April 8, Marie Kovecsi and Phil Huerta presented a program, Vaping 101, to the Learning Club.

Electronic nicotine delivery systems go by many names. The most common is “e-cigarettes.” They explained why the FDA has called e-cigarette use by young people an epidemic and a public-health threat. Since 2014, e-cigarette use has increased by 50 percent among Minnesota high school students. Overall, it is now double that of conventional cigarette use.

Clever marketing strategies such as making packaging to look almost indistinguishable from everyday products (pens, magic markers, white-out tape dispensers) and creating thousands of flavors attractive to young people draw many teens to use it and draw little to no attention. E-cigarettes can deliver a concentrated nicotine hit equivalent in some cases to several cigarettes.

Kovecsi is a Winona County commissioner. Phil Hueta is the program coordinator for the Winona Alliance of Substance Abuse Prevention.


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