Free Text Service
to Help Young Kentuckians Quit Vaping
as New Federal Law Impacting Tobacco Sales Takes Effect
Ky. (Jan. 9, 2020) – The
Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for
Health and Family Services (CHFS), encourages teens and young adults who
want to quit vaping to get free help from This Is Quitting, a nationwide
texting service. CHFS and DPH officials say cessation services such as
This Is Quitting are critical for young people and emphasized that many
will be impacted by the recent federal law increasing the legal age to
purchase tobacco and vaping products to 21.
Quitting was developed by Truth Initiative and is being promoted directly
to Kentuckians through a collaboration with DPH. The service is intended
for young people ages 13 to 24, and is tailored by age group to give
appropriate recommendations about quitting vaping. It was developed with
input from young people who have already attempted to or succeeded in
quitting e-cigarettes. Participants should text KENTUCKY to 88709 to
enroll in the program, which provides up to nine weeks of coaching.
Secretary Eric Friedlander said quitting tobacco, nicotine, or vaping
products will improve your health at any age, and with the resources
offered through DPH and other providers, it takes just a few steps to be
on the path toward quitting.
"In light of
a recent federal law increasing the age of legal tobacco sales to 21, we
know many young people will need support giving up tobacco and
e-cigarette products,” he said. "This Is Quitting is a great resource
specifically created to help young people quit using e-cigarettes and we
are very happy to partner with the Truth Initiative to help more young
Kentuckians lead healthier lives.
people who started vaping now want to quit, but they don’t know how,”
said Dr. Amanda Graham, Chief of Innovations at Truth Initiative. "The
fact that young people are setting a quit date the day they enroll shows
that they are eager to break free from vaping. Our program allows them to
get support discreetly and anonymously without having to disclose to an
adult that they are vaping.”
who enroll in This is Quitting will receive one support text per day
leading up to the day they quit vaping, and for at least 60 days after
their ‘quit date.’ For those not ready to commit to quitting but who are
still interested in learning more, This is Quitting will send at least
four weeks of messages focused on building skills and confidence to
prepare for quitting. In addition to their scheduled messages,
participants can also receive on-demand support for cravings, stress, and
set-backs in their quitting journey.
the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, more than 53 percent of Kentucky’s
high schoolers have ever used an e-cigarette. More than half of those
students are current users. By comparison, around 30 percent of Kentucky
high schoolers have ever smoked a traditional cigarette, and
approximately 9 percent are current smokers.
are the most commonly used tobacco product among Kentucky youth,” said
DPH Health Promotion Section Supervisor Elizabeth Anderson-Hoagland.
"While we absolutely do not want any teen to start vaping, we also want
to make sure we’re providing resources to help them quit.”
vaping can be challenging because almost all e-cigarettes contain
nicotine, the same addictive chemical found in cigarettes and other
tobacco products. One JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as an entire
pack of cigarettes. A 2018 Truth Initiative study found that 63 percent
of youth and young adult JUUL-users did not know that the product always
Quitting and DPH’s other free tobacco-cessation resources like My Life,
My Quit and Quit Now Kentucky are especially important for teens and
young adults, for whom nicotine is particularly detrimental. The U.S.
Surgeon General has reported that nicotine exposure is particularly
dangerous in adolescents because it can "prime the brain for addiction to
other drugs such as cocaine.”
Quitting also comes alongside DPH and the CDC’s investigation into the
nationwide outbreak of e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung
injury (EVALI). More than 2,400 people across the country have been
hospitalized with serious respiratory issues as a result of using
e-cigarettes, though the exact cause of their injuries remains unknown.
More than 50 patients have died as a result of this outbreak. Many of
those affected are young people, probably because they are more likely to
vape than other age groups.
updated EVALI information at https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/dmch/hpb/Pages/pdinfo.aspx.
Initiative launched This is Quitting nationwide in January 2019 and has
since enrolled over 70,000 teens and young adults. Peer-reviewed research
on the program has revealed that more than 60 percent of participants
reported they had reduced or completely stopped using e-cigarettes after
just two weeks. CHFS will be promoting This is Quitting on college
campuses and through its social media accounts.
Initiative is a nonprofit tobacco control organization that focuses on
helping youth and young adults in America stop using tobacco products.
"Quitting e-cigarettes can be isolating for young people,” added Graham.
"Text messaging is a proven, powerful strategy to deliver interventions
that drive behavior change. We’ve taken input directly from young people
and positioned This is Quitting as a supportive, non-judgmental friend,
with text messages written in the first person or as quotes from other
palm cards with the text code and number will be distributed to schools
and other community partners across Kentucky who engage with youth and
young adults. For more information about the program or to request
materials contact DPH Tobacco Cessation Administrator Heather Shaw at email@example.com or (502)
564-9358 ext. 4017
information is available at http://chfs.ky.gov/.
for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state's human
services and healthcare programs, including the Department for Medicaid
Services, the Department for Community Based Services the Department for
Public Health, the Department for Aging and Independent Living and the
Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual
Disabilities. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government,
with nearly 8,000 full- and part-time employees located across the
Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most
of the state's human services and healthcare programs, including the
Department for Medicaid Services, the Department for Community Based
Services the Department for Public Health, the Department for Aging and
Independent Living and the Department for Behavioral Health,
Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. CHFS is one of the largest
agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full- and part-time
employees located across the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives
and health of Kentuckians.