Youth use of e-cigarettes
Current use1 of electronic nicotine delivery products (e-cigarettes and other vaping devices) by Massachusetts high school youth was 20% in 2017. And 41% of high school students reported ever using e-cigarettes. Current use of electronic cigarettes is almost three times greater than current use of cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco combined (11.4%). (Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2017).
In 2017, 9.9% of middle school students had ever-tried e-cigarettes. Ever-use of electronic nicotine delivery products was almost two times greater than ever-use of cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco combined (5.8%) (MA Youth Health Survey, 2017).
The New Look of Nicotine Addiction public information campaign
To educate parents of middle and high school-aged children about the dangers of vape pens and e-cigarettes the Department of Public Health launched a campaign in July 2018 titled The New Look of Nicotine Addiction, which seeks to spread the word that these high-tech products are harmful, that they contain nicotine which can damage a teenager’s developing brain, and lead to addiction.
The campaign’s online destination is www.GetOutraged.org. The site has general facts and information about vaping products as well as specific sections for parents and schools/community based organizations. Several of the web pages are available in Spanish.
The schools section includes a Toolkit for schools and community based organizations. The Toolkit includes a presentation that can be directed to parents or staff, guidance for giving this presentation, a flyer to promote a meeting or presentation about vaping, a sample newsletter article, and various other resources and materials to address youth use of e-cigarettes.
Collateral materials include a poster (English/Spanish), a flyer (English/Spanish), Frequently Asked Questions, and a tip sheet for parents on how to talk with their kids about vaping. These materials are available for download or ordering on the Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse website.
Other aspects of the campaign included ads featured in online and social media channels, and Billboards and transit ads (buses and transit stations).
Important information for schools
The Commissioners of the Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education and Public Health issued a joint letter to school administrators across the Commonwealth about student use of e-cigarettes and other nicotine delivery devices.