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‘My Life, My Quit’ Aims to Help NH Teens Give Up Vaping

Seven in 10 teens are exposed to e-cigarette advertising, according to the National Institute on Drug abuse. (Adobe Stock)
Seven in 10 teens are exposed to e-cigarette advertising, according to the National Institute on Drug abuse. (Adobe Stock)
October 9, 2019

CONCORD, N.H. - Whether they use vaping products or cigarettes, New Hampshire teens who want help quitting now can connect with a tobacco-cessation coach through a new program.

"My Life, My Quit" was launched by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Sai Cherala, bureau chief for population health and community services at the department, said the latest statewide survey found the use of vape products among New Hampshire teens is skyrocketing.

"We found that almost a quarter of our high-school-aged teens reported using electronic vapor products like e-cigarettes, Juuls," she said.

This week, state officials reported the first case of a vaping-related hospitalization and lung illness in Sullivan County.

Research has shown that using nicotine during adolescence affects the brain's prefrontal cortex, an area linked to impulses and decision-making skills. Cherala said that can lead to serious health problems down the road.

"This can establish a pattern of lifelong addiction in youth," she said, "so those are some of our biggest concerns."

Data from the U.S. surgeon general's office points to the variety of flavors available in vape products as the main reason they're so popular among young people. Cherala said New Hampshire and other states will have to work proactively to ensure that another generation doesn't get hooked on nicotine.

"One of the reasons that we are focusing on having this 'My Life, My Quit,' " she said, "is to say, like, 'How can we serve this population better, and serving them in the right places?' "

Teens can call or text 855-891-9989 to speak with a quit coach. More information is online at mylifemyquit.com.

Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - NH