The 21st Show

Surge In Vaping-Related Illness; Illinois College Enrollment Numbers; Why Doesn’t IL Have NCAA Division-I Hockey?


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What's behind a recent surge in vaping-related hospitalizations? Plus, we'll talk about Illinois' latest freshman enrollment numbers, and learn why our state doesn't have any Division I hockey programs.

Surge In Vaping-Related Illness

Hundreds of people in the U.S., many of them young and otherwise healthy, have been hospitalized with serious lung illnesses linked to vaping in recent months. Six people have died, including one patient in Illinois. 

The CDC hasn’t been able to pinpoint the exact cause of the illness yet, or a particular product- only that all the patients had recently used e-cigarettes which are electronic devices that heats up a liquid into vapor that’s inhaled. They’ve been billed by the industry, including the vape giant Juul, as a way to quit smoking cigarettes. But many health experts say vaping comes with its own risks, and a lot of unknowns. 

Dr. Trevonne Thompson, is an associate professor of emergency medicine at University of Illinois Chicago. Dr. Kaninika Verma is a Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Physician at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. And Whitney Greger is health education and program coordinator at the Champaign Urbana Public Health District. 

Illinois College Enrollment Numbers

In 2010, there were more than 900,000 college students in Illinois. Now, that number has dropped drastically, down to about 760,000, according to the most recent data.

Everyone from state lawmakers, to the governor, to university officials agrees that Illinois needs to reverse this trend. But each school is different. And every year, the new enrollment figures give us a snapshot of how universities from all over the state are doing in their efforts to attract students.

This year’s numbers are just recently out. Kate McGee reports on education for WBEZ Chicago. Kelly Miller is the director of admissions at Eastern Illinois University. 

Why Doesn’t Illinois Have NCAA Division-I Hockey

Success of hockey teams like the Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues has helped spur the growth of youth hockey here in Illinois. Today there are more than 20,000 hockey players in our state. That’s more than double what it was just two decades ago. 

But despite growth at the youth level, there are still no NCAA Division-I college hockey programs here in Illinois. 

For the past few years, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been working on bringing a Division one program to the university. Athletic director Josh Whitman was optimistic about it happening provided that “three or four key variables left” get done. 

Mike Snee is the executive director of College Hockey Inc - an organization which helps advocate for Division one college hockey. John Fiflis grew up playing hockey here in Illinois. He also played club hockey at Iowa State University. 

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