Ask patients about their use of e-cigarettes
Youth do not necessarily equate smoking with the use of e-cigarettes/vaping, so note the language you use when asking your patients if they smoke or use other tobacco or nicotine products. You may need to alter the words on your forms or in your conversations to incorporate e-cigarettes, vapes, vaping devices, e-hookah, nicotine pouches or other emerging products. In addition, you may need to be specific about asking what substance is used with these devices - nicotine, THC, or a combination of both. This may be a sensitive question because both nicotine and THC are illegal to purchase (for those under 21) in Massachusetts. This may also be a sensitive topic if your patient’s parent/guardian is in the room or if your patient does not understand that your conversation is confidential.
Report suspected cases of vaping-related lung illness to the Department of Public Health
While reporting of EVALI is no longer mandated, DPH encourages clinicians to continue to monitor EVALI cases and report suspected cases to DPH. DPH continues to engage in monitoring and surveillance of this condition.
The current EVALI report form can be found at: https://www.mass.gov/lists/infectious-disease-case-report-forms#e-cigarette/vaping-associated-lung-injury-(evali)-
Educate patients on the harms of nicotine and e-cigarette use
- Health care professionals: Educate your young patients about the risks of e-cigarettes (PDF) – CDC
- Know The Risks E-Cigarettes and Young People – Surgeon General
- Vapes and Cigarettes: Different Products. Same Dangers. Handout – Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse (available in English and Spanish).
- Know the Risks: A Youth Guide to E-cigarettes – A presentation from the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health to educate youth on e-cigarettes. This resource is intended for adults who educate or serve youth
ages 11–18 and includes a document with talking points.
- Resource Card to provide youth with information on quitting resources.
- NEW – Nurse’s Guide to assist in helping youth quit vaping in the school (or healthcare) setting.
- NEW – Youth Vaping Brochure, meant to accompany the Nurse’s Guide but can be used separately to help youth quit vaping. Available in English and Spanish.
Share resources for quitting tobacco
To help youth
- This is Quitting powered by truth® – A free and confidential texting program for young people who vape. Young people can text VapeFreeMass to 88709 to get started. (See Resources for Quitting section for more information)
- My Life, My Quit™ - Provided by the same vendor as 1-800-QUIT-NOW (Massachusetts’ Quitline), My Life, My Quit has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Young people can text Start My Quit to 36072 or call 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help or visit mylifemyquit.com to sign up online. (See Resources for Quitting section for more information). Providers can refer patients under the age of 18 to My Life, My Quit through Quitworks.
- Smokefree Teen – A website with tips, plans, apps, and other ways to get ready to quit and be smoke free for good from the National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Educate young patients about withdrawal symptoms and ways to cope.
To help parents of young patients who may use tobacco
Provide resources to parents about talking to their teens
- How to Talk with Your Child about Vaping – Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse (also available as website content on GetOutraged.org).
- Help Your Teen Quit Vaping/Using Tobacco - This flyer is for parents/guardians of teens and provides information on signs of nicotine addiction, how to talk with their teens about the issue, free resources to help them quit, and ways to support them through their quit journey.
- Connect with your membership organizations for more information, resources, and guidance on addressing vaping in your patient population.
- Healthcare Provider Resources – Resources from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention