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New York State Department of Health increases anti-vaping efforts

N.Y. (WETM) — The New York State Department of Health is trying to get teens and young adults to stop vaping.

“Exposure to nicotine during adolescence can cause addiction and damage to the developing adolescent brain, lungs, and overall health,” State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. “The Department remains committed to decreasing vaping among young people and providing them with the resources that will help keep them informed, healthy, and safe.” 

According to the Department of Health, a larger percentage of youths and young adults vape than older adults. Nearly one in five high schoolers across New York State vaped in 2022. Most middle and high schoolers said they started to vape because their friends did or they were curious. The most common reasons teens gave for continuing to vape were feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression and to get a buzz/high from the nicotine.

More than half of teens who vape that took a national survey in 2022 reported that they wanted to quit. The Department of Health is promoting a text-based service called “DropTheVape” to help young people quit vaping.

DropTheVape is a free and confidential service that was developed by Truth Initiative, a non-profit that is trying to end tobacco use and nicotine addiction, with the input of young people who want to quit vaping. The service aims to show people aged 13 to 24 the benefits and challenges of quitting vaping and to support and motivate them through the process. Young people who want help quitting can text “DropTheVape” to 88709.

The Department of Health created anti-vaping posters, palm cards, and rack cards geared toward middle schoolers and high schoolers/young adults. New York State residents and organizations can order these free education materials that encourage youths to stop vaping and promote the text service through this page on the Department of Health’s website.

More resources for those thinking about quitting vaping, smoking, or using tobacco can be found on SmokeFree.gov.

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