What Parents/Adults Can Do
- Visit GetOutraged.org for more information about the dangers of vaping for young people
- Encourage young people to ask their school nurse or counselor, athletic coach, doctor, parent or other trusted adult for help
- Educate young people about the quit resources available to them (see more information below)
- Speak with their child’s health care provider
- Be aware of the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and how to help young people (see more information below)
What Young People Can Do
- Follow the Instagram account @GetTheVapeFacts
- Enroll in This is Quitting powered by truth® (see more information below)
- Enroll in My Life, My QuitTM (see more information below)
- Visit teen.smokefree.gov for tools and tips to quit
- Be aware of the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and how to cope (see more information below)
More Information about Quit Resources for Young People
This is Quitting powered by truth®
This is Quitting powered by truth® is a texting program for youth and young adults who want to quit vaping. It is a free, confidential 60-day program during which participants receive texts with information, tips, and support. They receive daily text messages to help them prepare to quit and supportive texts from young people who have been through the program and know what it’s like to quit. They can also text “COPE,” “SLIP,” “STRESS,” or “MORE” at any time for instant support, or “MASSINFO” for information specific to Massachusetts. Young people can sign up even if you they aren’t ready to quit – the texts they receive will give them strategies and practice quits to help build confidence and help them feel ready to quit.
To enroll in the program, youth text VapeFreeMass to 88709. Youth can also connect with their school nurse, counselor, or coach to help get them started.
Parents and other adults can text QUIT to 202-899-7550 to sign up to receive text messages designed specifically for parents of youth who vape.
Note: This is Quitting powered by truth® is a national program. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Tobacco Treatment Research & Training, has partnered with truth® to offer messaging and information specific to Massachusetts youth. For more information on this resource and other information on youth vaping, visit GetOutraged.org.
My Life, My QuitTM
My Life, My QuitTM is a specially designed program to help young people quit vaping or other tobacco products. My Life, My QuitTM provides five free and confidential coaching sessions by phone, live texting, or chat with a specially trained youth coach specialists. Youth can text Start My Quit to 36072 or call toll-free 1-855-891-9989 for real-time coaching. They can also visit mylifemyquit.com to sign up online, chat with a live coach, get information about vaping and tobacco, and activities to help them quit. The program can send out materials and a certificate at the end of the program.
My Life, My QuitTM is a program of National Jewish Health, the vendor for the Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline. The My Life, My QuitTM program combines best practices for youth tobacco cessation adapted to include vaping and new ways to reach a coach using live text messaging or online chat.
Specially trained youth coach specialists emphasize that the decision to stop is personal, and provide information to help cope with stress, navigate social situations, and support developing a tobacco-free identity.
For more information about My Life, My QuitTMvisit mylifemyquit.com and click on Parents/Guardians under the Resources tab.
Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms and Coping Mechanisms
Some youth may not realize they are addicted to nicotine, but if they experience one or more of the following, they likely are hooked:
- Having strong cravings to vape/use tobacco
- Feeling nervous, anxious, angry or restless when they can’t vape/use tobacco
- Having trouble concentrating
- Feeling the need to vape/use tobacco to feel better
When someone who is dependent on nicotine quits using it, their body needs to adjust to not having it. The physical and mental symptoms that result are called withdrawal symptoms. For most people, these symptoms are short-lived.
- Having cravings to vape/ use tobacco
- Feeling down or sad; having trouble sleeping
- Having trouble thinking clearly and concentrating
- Feeling restless and jumpy or irritable, or grouchy
- Having stomach pain, headaches, or dizziness
If the young person is smoking menthol cigarettes, research says menthol cigarettes may be harder to quit than non-menthol cigarettes. For more information about menthol, visit CDC’s web page about menthol.
How can you help a young person cope with nicotine withdrawal symptoms, so they do not start using nicotine again to feel better? Help them practice these strategies:
- Delay acting on the urge to vape/use tobacco – Wait out the urge. They only last a few minutes and will lessen with time.
- Deep Breathing – Deep breathing helps by concentrating on breath instead of the craving. Take two deep breaths when there is an urge to vape/use tobacco. Breathe in slowly and deeply; then breathe out slowly.
- Drink Water – Drinking water helps flush out nicotine and other toxins. Sip water slowly and hold it in the mouth a little while to satisfy the need to have something in the mouth.
- Have alternatives to vapes handy – Good alternatives are something to hold and keep the mouth busy. Some of these may not be allowed in the classroom at school, but examples include chewing on toothpicks or gum. Sucking on hard candy can also help.
- Do Something Else / Find Alternatives – Do something else to take the mind off vaping/using tobacco. Physical activity (going for a walk, run, bike ride, etc.), working on hobbies, calling or texting a friend, or just doing something else when there is the urge to vape/use tobacco can help. Other ideas include going to places that don’t allow vaping such as the mall or joining an online support community.
- Adjust routines – The brain connects regular places and things to tobacco use patterns. These certain places, events, situations, or people can trigger the brain's craving for nicotine.
- Avoid places, situations, or even certain people that make it hard to say “no” to a craving or offer to vape/use tobacco. Role play with a young person to practice what they can say if a friend asks them about vaping. For example, help them practice what they can say in social situations when offered a vape.