Vaping-Associated Lung Injury - New Resources Available

September 26, 2019

To stay up to date on the emerging vaping-associated lung injury, visit the Washington State Department of Health website.

In response to the recent outbreak of vaping-associated lung injury, Spokane Regional Health District’s (SRHD) Tobacco, Vapor Product, and Marijuana Prevention program is providing the following resources to school districts, libraries, community colleges, universities and other organizations with youth and young adults to help answer questions and decrease existing and new use of vapor products.

In terms of how many youth are currently vaping, results from the 2018 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey showed vaping among Spokane County sixth, eighth, 10th, and 12th graders increased from 9.7 percent to 15.4 percent between 2016 and 2018.

In terms of how many young adults are currently vaping, results from the Monitoring the Future National Survey showed vaping among college youth increased from 5.2 percent to 26 percent and among non-college youth increased from 7.8 percent to 21 percent from 2017 to 2018.

The approaches and resources available for youth and young adults vary when it comes to intervention, cessation and prevention of vapor products.

Youth

  1. INTERVENTION:
    1. Review this Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) one-pager called Red Flag for Supports: Students Who Smoke or Vape, which examines youth tobacco and vapor product use. It explores vaping’s relationship with youth who experience depression and thoughts of suicide. The document also provides recommendations for school policy approaches, screening, and referral to treatment and other support programs. You can also view the webinar about this topic for more information.
    2. INDEPTH is a new, convenient alternative to suspension or citation that helps schools and communities address the teen vaping problem in a more supportive way. Instead of solely focusing on punitive measures, INDEPTH is an interactive program that teaches students about nicotine dependence, establishing healthy alternatives and how to kick the unhealthy addiction that got them in trouble in the first place.
    3. For more information to help your school, visit this best practices page.   
  2. CESSATION AND OTHER SUPPORT: Vapor products that contain nicotine are addicting and youth may need help with cessation. Any youth caught with vapor products should be referred to cessation resources. Cessation resources for youth are available and include
    1. Washington State Quitline. Youth who currently use vapor products can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to quitnow.net/mve/quitnow for cessation services. The quitline offers cessation counseling for youth and is staffed with highly trained quit coaches who provide anonymous support.
    2. 2Morrow Health is an app designed for young people who want to quit. Participants of this program will learn new ways to deal with unhelpful thoughts, urges and cravings, and then practice moving toward their goals.
    3. SmokeFreeTeen. This is a text message-based program that can help teens who want to stop vaping. They can enroll by going to the website.
    4. DitchJuul from the Truth Initiative is a text-based program that can help teens quit vapor products. Young adults can sign up with a simple text to the program.
    5. The Not On Tobacco® group (N-O-T) is the American Lung Association’s voluntary smoking cessation program for teens ages 14 – 19. Over the 10-week program, participants learn to identify their reasons for smoking, healthy alternatives to tobacco use and people who will support them in their efforts to quit. Contact Molly Ryan at the American Lung Association in Washington to learn more: Molly.Ryan@lung.org.
    6. 3rd Millennium Classrooms is an evidence-based online prevention and cessation program for youth. Typically offered through school as an alternative to suspension, youth work through a variety of healthy behavior programs at their own pace. Ask your school if 3rd Millennium Classrooms is available or visit their website to register.
    7. Washington state has a Recovery Helpline (1-866-789-1511) available 24 hours a day. The hotline is a free, confidential resource for those struggling with issues related to mental health, substance abuse and problem gambling. People can also call the helpline to talk about how to help someone they care about who may be struggling with substance use
    8. Teen Link (1-866-TEENLINK) is a hotline just for teens. Teen Link is available every evening from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. (PT). Teens can call and get support from trained volunteers about a variety of issues.
    9. CATCH My Breath is an e-cigarette and JUUL prevention program for youth 10-18 years old. This program is available for no cost to U.S. Schools and include parent resources and student learning projects.
  3. PREVENTION:
    1. SRHD can help your school or school district choose a curriculum and provide guidance on the best way to implement. Curriculums like the theory-based and evidence-informed Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit are easy to implement and can be used with limited resources.
    2. Give families tools to talk to their kids—they can visit starttalkingnow.org
    3. Implement campaigns in your school like FDA’s  “The Real Cost” with free posters and infographics.
    4. Escape the Vape is a website for middle-school-aged youth to learn more about the chemicals found in vaping devices. Public Health – Seattle and King County developed easy-to-use resources for teachers to promote the campaign, including activities for elementary and middle school youth. You can find the materials here.
    5. Subscribe to SRHD’s Triangulum news to receive localized quarterly newsletters focused on tobacco, vapor products, and marijuana prevention. You can sign up by clicking here.

Young Adults

  1. INTERVENTION
    1. Staying current on information regarding vapor products is key to talking to young adults about the potential harms associated with them. Anyone who talks to young adults about health-related topics should review the following resources:
      1. Know the Risks (CDC)
      2. Tobacco Prevention Toolkit (Stanford Medicine)
      3. Everything You Need to Know about E-Cigarettes, Vaping and Hookahs (Botvin LifeSkills Training)
  2. CESSATION AND OTHER SUPPORT: Vapor products that contain nicotine are addicting and young adults may need help with cessation. Any young adults that are looking to stop using vapor products should be referred to cessation resources. Cessation resources for youth are available and include:
    1. Washington State Quitline. Young adults who currently use tobacco/nicotine products can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or going to quitnow.net/mve/quitnow for cessation services. The quitline offers cessation counseling for young adults and is staffed with highly trained quit coaches who provide anonymous support.
    2. Smokefree has multiple programs including text messaging, phone apps, online counseling, and other resources to help young adults stop vaping and stay vape free.
    3. DitchJuul from the Truth Initiative is a text-based program that can help young adults quit vapor products. Young adults can sign up with a simple text to the program
    4. Becoming an Ex is another cessation program offered by the Truth Initiative. With similar resources as DitchJuul, it is targeted for an older audience.
    5. Washington state has a Recovery Helpline (1-866-789-1511) available 24 hours a day. The hotline is a free, confidential resource for those struggling with issues related to mental health, substance abuse, and problem gambling. People can also call the helpline to talk about how to help someone they care about who may be struggling with substance use
    6. Youth Now is a youth substance use prevention initiative that offers resources, campaigns, research and other supports for youth, parents, educators and providers.

Questions about these resources or interested in receiving support from SRHD? Contact SRHD’s Tobacco, Vapor Product, and Marijuana Prevention program at 509.324.1668, email healthycommunities@srhd.org or visit srhd.org.