Local and state leaders have turned their attention to tobacco use with a number of events and initiatives in the county to prevent the habit, especially among young people.

This week, Frederick Uncut producers Heather Mongilio and Wyatt Massey speak with several reporters from The Frederick News-Post about stories related to prevention of tobacco use. First, legislative reporter Samantha Hogan discusses how Maryland’s changing the legal age to buy cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21 is designed to curb usage.

The new Maryland law goes into effect in October and is part of a nationwide movement to raise the legal age for use. The main argument against changing the age, though, raised a philosophical question, Hogan said.

“The argument I heard the most was: We need to decide when individuals become adults,” she said. “Are you an adult when you’re 18? Or are you an adult when you’re 21?”

Later in the episode, city reporter Jeremy Arias talks about a trip to West Frederick Middle School in March for a program hosted by the Asian American Center of Frederick to raise awareness about the health problems with tobacco use. Students rang a bell every 72 seconds to signify the rate in America in which someone dies from a tobacco-related illness.

Finally, Mongilio talks about a trend educators are seeing with children in middle and high school using e-cigarettes. In early April, the Thurmont Addiction Commission held a discussion with parents about vaping and its dangers.

A new episode of Frederick Uncut comes out every Tuesday.

Podcasts are posted on www.fnppodcasts.com and are available via iTunes, Google Play and other podcast apps.

Follow Wyatt Massey on Twitter: @News4Mass.

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