MINOT, N.D. - Some groups in Minot have teamed up to fight back against vaping addiction.
The Minot anti-vaping task force hosts events and programs to curb underage vaping and help adults quit as well.
Leaders from First District Health helped launch Minot's anti-vaping task force earlier this year, after teens in the area were caught vaping underage.
"We get calls all the time from schools and parents about what to do about this vaping thing, so we brought together a task force of concerned citizens, " said Holly Brekhus, director of health promotion at First District Health Unit.
School officials, city leaders, parents and teachers have also joined the health workers on the task force. Together they have come up with different ideas to combat addiction in the community including presentations, programs and classes.
"There was a need for what do we do with the youth that were caught vaping because they are addicted. So we kind of brain stormed and we decided for now we are going to adjust or cessation class to include vaping, " Brekhus told KMOT.
Bonnie Riely has taught a monthly class aimed at helping people quit smoking gat the health center for more than a decade. Now that vaping is included in that class, she sees an increase in young people who attend.
“We've had kids that are 13-years-old and they are vaping, this is definitely affecting their brain,” Riely said.
The North Dakota Department of Health has confirmed more than 10 cases of vaping-related illness in the state this year. Riely said the national problem is hitting home.
"It's a different type of addiction it has become an epidemic because the tobacco companies have taken that e-juice and made thousands of different flavors,” Riely said.
The team says flavors like sour patch and cotton candy are clearly marketed towards children. The task force says their goal is to educate the public that there is no safe way to vape.
The next Task Force meeting will be held at First District Health on Tuesday at 2 p.m.