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News Release
Douglas Public Health Network, Blue Zones Project, and CHI Mercy Health, in collaboration with Truth Initiative, are bringing a quit vaping program to Douglas County youth and young adults - 10/17/19

Roseburg, Ore.— With a multitude of flavors available and discrete devices that can easily be concealed, e-cigarette use among youth, also known as vaping, has become a national epidemic.  According to the 2017 Oregon Healthy Teens Survey, 9% of eighth graders and 12% of eleventh graders in Douglas County currently use e-cigarettes. For eleventh graders, this was higher than the percentage using traditional tobacco cigarettes.

To help youth and young adults quit e-cigarettes, DPHN, Blue Zones Project, and CHI Mercy Health are partnering with Truth Initiative to bring Douglas County “This is Quitting,” a free mobile program designed to help young people quit vaping, officially launched October 1st. The first-of-its-kind text messaging program incorporates messages from other young people like them who have attempted to, or successfully quit, e-cigarettes. The messages show the real side of quitting, both the good and the bad, to help young people feel motivated, inspired and supported throughout their quitting process. The program also sends young people evidence-based tips and strategies to quit and stay quit. Since the program was released in January 2019, more than 54,000 young people have enrolled nationwide. 

This resource is particularly important for teens and young adults, for whom nicotine is especially dangerous. Research shows that exposure to nicotine among youth is particularly dangerous since it has been shown to have an effect on key brain receptors, making young people more susceptible to nicotine addiction. Unfortunately, nicotine is highly addictive and found in high concentrations in some e-cigarettes, making quitting vaping incredibly difficult. This is Quitting helps participants feel less alone and supported without judgment as they go through the quitting process. Thousands of young people have submitted their own messages of advice, encouragement and support to add to the program.

Those interested in enrolling in the program can simply text “VAPEFREEDC” to 88709. Users may set a quit date by texting in the desired date. They receive one support text per day for a week prior to and at least 30 days after their set quit date. If someone is looking to end their relationship with JUUL but is not yet ready to set a quit date, the program will still send at least two weeks of messages to help the user become more confident and prepared to take the next steps to quit. Users can receive on-demand support for cravings, stress, and slips in addition to their scheduled interactive messages.

Flyers and palm cards with the text code and number will be distributed to schools and other community partners across Douglas County who engage with youth and young adults.  For more information about the program or to request materials contact Bailey Burkhalter at Bailey@DouglasPublicHealthNetwork or 541-677-5825.

The Blue Zones Project Tobacco Policy Committee is a community-led coalition with representatives from CHI Mercy Health, Douglas Public Health Network, Adapt, Aviva Health, Umpqua Health Alliance, Roseburg Public Schools, and community members interested in supporting a healthier community.

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