Washington County offers anonymous texting program to help teens quit vaping

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 02, 2021

Sponsored by: Health and Human Services Department, Public Health Division

With youth e-cigarette use remaining at epidemic proportions and threatening to addict a new generation to nicotine, Washington County Public Health has partnered with Truth Initiative to offer This is Quitting, the first-of-its-kind, free and anonymous text message quit vaping program with nearly 350,000 enrolled to date. 

Anyone 24 or younger in Washington County who wants to quit vaping can enroll in This is Quitting by texting GOVAPELESS to 88709. 

Launched in January 2019, This is Quitting is designed for anyone under the age of 24 looking to quit e-cigarettes. The program provides them with tailored advice, cognitive and behavioral coping strategies, and social support to help them quit. Results from a recent clinical trial published by JAMA Internal Medicine found that This is Quitting increased vaping quit rates among young adults ages 18-24 by nearly 40% compared to a control group.  

Data from the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) show nearly 20% of high school students use e-cigarettes, demonstrating that much more needs to be done to address the youth e-cigarette epidemic. The data are similar in Washington County. According to the 2019 Oregon Healthy Teens Survey, 18% of 11th graders and 9% of eighth graders are using a vaping device. 

A separate Truth Initiative report found that 60% of e-cigarette users ages 15-24 surveyed want to quit within the year. Of those who want to quit, 51% agreed that texting would help them stop vaping, underscoring the urgent need for programs like This is Quitting.  

“We know youth are using, and they need a reliable resource to help them quit,” Washington County Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Gwyn Ashcom said. “This program, designed for youth by youth, will give them the support they need to take that first step to a life free of nicotine.” 

Parents of young people who vape can get support at www.BecomeAnEX.org or by texting QUIT to 202-899-7550. Employers, health systems and health plans can learn more about the EX Program, a quit-smoking and vaping service for employers at www.theexprogram.com

For more information about the program or to request materials, contact Gwyn Ashcom at Gwyn_Ashcom@co.washington.or.us or by calling 503-846-4544. 

 

Media Contact:

Mary Sawyers, Division Communications Coordinator
503-726-6459
mary_sawyers@co.washington.or.us