WILTON — State Reps. Gail Lavielle (R-143) and Tom O’Dea (R-125) will present a discussion on youth vaping on Thursday, Nov. 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Trackside Teen Center, 15 Station Road. The event is free and the public is invited.

Joining them will be a panel of community leaders, experts, educators, youth counselors, student representatives, and other stakeholders to discuss the dangers of youth vaping, its impact on schools and the greater community. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Panelists include:

 Chief John Lynch — Wilton Police Department.

 Genevieve Eason — Wilton Youth Council.

 Colleen Fawcett — Wilton Youth Services.

 Liza Starnino — Wilton Youth Services.

 Elizabeth Jorgensen — Insight Counseling.

 Bryan Luizzi, Ed.D — Superintendent, New Canaan Public Schools.

 Kevin Smith, Ph.D — Superintendent, Wilton Public Schools.

 Robert O’Donnell, Ed.D Principal, Wilton High School.

 Rishabh RaniwalaStudent body president, Wilton High School.

The panel will also include student representatives from Wilton Youth to Youth.

Vaping among young people is as serious an issue here as it is anywhere else. Reports published earlier this month by the Food and Drug Administration and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate teen vapers prefer Juul and since that company’s fruit and dessert flavors were pulled from retail shelves, mint is now the favored flavor among young people. The reports also show that teen vaping is not slowing down.

"We’re holding this forum because so many people in the community have told me how concerned they are about the impact of vaping on young people,” Lavielle told the Bulletin. “We know that the use of vaping products is growing quickly among high school students. The initial worry was that this would lead to increased long-term nicotine addiction, but now we have even more concerning additional information about hundreds of deaths and severe illnesses related to vaping.

“While we’ve already passed a couple of bills in Connecticut that are designed to deter vaping by young people, it’s important to discuss what more we can do as a community. I hope parents, students, educators, and everyone who is interested in critical public health issues will join us on Nov. 21 at Trackside.”

According to a survey, in 2017 nearly 25 percent of ninth and 10th graders and 45 percent of 11th and 12th graders in Wilton reported using an e-cigarette or Juul in the previous month.