1 in 4 teens in NJ vape: A text can help them quit
With teen vaping on the rise in New Jersey, Tobacco Free for a Healthy New Jersey has partnered with Truth Initiative to offer a first-of-its-kind text-based campaign aimed at teens and young adults.
"This is Quitting" was created with input from teens, college students and young adults who have either attempted to or successfully quit e-cigarettes, said Kim Burns, southern region coordinator at Tobacco Free for a Healthy New Jersey.
"It's important to get the support that you need to be able to quit. A lot of youth think they can do it on their own, and some can, but this will offer that additional support," Burns said.
The program launched in 2019 and since then, 260,000 young people have enrolled in it nationwide. The program launched March 1 in New Jersey.
Data from the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey showed that in New Jersey, the current high school vaping rate is at an all-time high at nearly 28%, said Burns.
The 12-week program is for those ages 13 to 24 who are interested in quitting vaping. Young people can enroll by texting VAPEFREENJ to 88709.
Enrolled participants will receive one support text per day prior to and at least 60 days after their quit date. The text messages are aimed toward things kids enjoy and they are age-appropriate, said Burns. SUCH AS?
One text message is about practicing quitting: If someone offers a teen a vape product, how will one respond to that situation, knowing that he or she is trying to quit?
There's also text messages that deals with stress. Trying to quit can be very stressful, so focusing on why they want to quit, writing those things down and steps they want to take to be 100% vape free.
After the 12 week program, the youth can re-enroll if they feel like they still need support or are not 100% vape free, added Burns. She said young adults will be given another word to text that will put them in touch with other New Jersey cessation services such as quit centers and quit lines. Kids will be access those resources if this texting program was not enough to help them quit vaping and stay quit.
After the 12 weeks, the youth will continue to receive text messages as a way of checking on them and to see how they are doing.
If someone is looking to end their relationship with e-cigs but is not yet ready to set a quit date, the program will send at least four weeks of messages focused on building skills and confidence to prepare for quitting.
For more information about the This is Quitting program, contact Tobaccofreenj@njpn.org