Orange, Virginia – With youth e-cigarette use remaining at epidemic proportions and threatening to addict a new generation to nicotine, the Orange County Office on Youth has partnered with Truth Initiative to offer This is Quitting, the first-of-its-kind, free and anonymous text message quit vaping program with over 400,000 young people enrolled-to-date. Launched in January 2019, This is Quitting is designed for teens and young adults looking to quit e-cigarettes. The program provides them with tailored advice, cognitive and behavioral coping strategies, and social support to help them quit.
Data from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey administered in Orange County for 8th, 10th, and 12th graders indicated a rapid rise in youth vaping countywide. Of the 278 8th graders surveyed, 27.3% used electronic vaping products during the 30 days prior to the survey, compared to 8.3% in 2017. A shocking 19% increase among our 13/14-year-olds. Data also showed that only 67.6% felt there was a moderate to great risk in using these products. Of the 419 10th and 12th graders surveyed, 35.6% reported using electronic vaping products in the 30 days prior to the survey, up from 15.1% in 2017, and substantially higher than the 13.2% national average.
Understanding that local data indicated a serious threat to the health of the young people in Orange County, the Office on Youth set out to secure funding to assist with bringing relevant, convenient cessation program access to Orange County Youth. With a generous and timely three-year grant award from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, the Office on Youth partnered with Truth Initiative to bring the This is Quitting program to the local community.
Established in 1999 by the Virginia General Assembly, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) empowers Virginia’s youth to make healthy choices by reducing and preventing youth tobacco and nicotine use, substance use, and childhood obesity. VFHY receives no taxpayer funds and is solely funded by a small share of Virginia’s annual payments from the nation’s major tobacco manufacturers through the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).
This is Quitting is an integral part of the truth® campaign, Truth Initiative's proven-effective national youth smoking, vaping, and nicotine public education campaign. Young people in Orange County who are looking to quit vaping can enroll in This is Quitting by texting VAPEFREEOC to 88709.
Office on Youth Director, Alisha Vines, stated, “We are hopeful that This is Quitting will offer our young people an opportunity to quit vaping. The program is completely confidential and anonymous providing youth a chance to take charge of their own health and live nicotine-free lives.”
“This is Quitting is meeting a need for hundreds of thousands of young people through a channel they’re comfortable with and use every day,” said Dr. Amanda Graham, Chief of Innovations at Truth Initiative. “Many young people now want to quit more than ever, and This is Quitting can help them get support quickly, discreetly, and anonymously, wherever they are.”
Through its quit-smoking programs Truth Initiative has a long history of innovation around developing engaging and effective quit programs and have helped more than a million tobacco users on their journey to quit. Parents of young people who vape can get support at www.BecomeAnEX.org or by texting QUIT to (202) 899-7550.
For additional information about the Orange County Office on Youth’s efforts, please contact Ashley Jacobs, Program Coordinator, at (540) 672-5484 or visit www.orangecountyva.gov/officeonyouth. For additional information about the important work of the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, please visit www.vfhy.org.