FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Department for Public Health has launched a free service aimed at helping teens quit vaping, smoking, and using other tobacco products.
The service is called My Life, My Quit and it has gone live across the state starting November 12.
The department says teenagers who want to stop using e-cigarettes or other tobacco products can text or call the toll-free My Life, My Quit number: 1-855-891-9989. They will then be connected to a “quit coach” who will provide, free, confidential, real-time support. The department also says teen can get five sessions of personalized support through live texting, phone, or online chat.
According to officials, the goal of the My Life, My Quit coaching sessions is for the teen to build a plan to quit tobacco. They say the quit coach will help them develop strategies to cope with stress, address symptoms of withdrawal, and navigate social situations.
The health department says quitting 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. The U.S. Surgeon General says nicotine exposure is particularly dangerous in adolescents because it can “prime the brain for addiction to other drugs such as cocaine.”
My Life, My Quit is operated by National Jewish Health, which also operates Quit Now Kentucky and the toll-free number 1-800-QUIT-NOW, which is available to all ages. However, the creators of My Life, My Quit say teens told them traditional quit lines geared toward adults did not resonate with them.
The department says My Life, My Quit was designed with the input of young people, and employs quit coaches trained in cognitive and psycho-social development.
According to the 2018 Kentucky Incentives for Prevention Survey, nearly one in four of Kentucky’s tenth graders and 14 percent of eighth graders had used an e-cigarette in the last month. Last year, the U.S. Surgeon General and other public health officials began officially referring to youth e-cigarette use as ‘an epidemic.’ E-cigarette companies have been accused of marketing their products toward youth by using sweet flavors and sleek designs that can be hidden from adults easily.
For more information about My Life, My Quit, click here.