DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – In 2018, the CDC found that 3.6 million middle and high school students reported e-cigarette use, causing alarm for parents, educators, health professionals and more.
“It’s something that we really take seriously and we’re working hard to bring those numbers of teens who are vaping down,” said Dan Suffoleto the public information supervisor with the Public Health Dayton and Montgomery Counties.
This week, the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line unveiled their new service, “My Life, My Quit” a hotline offering those under 18 free, confidential and real time help to quit smoking. The service, developed from organization National Jewish Health can be accessed by teens over the phone, in a text or through an online chat.
While some supporters of vaping say it’s a better alternative to cigarettes, health officials are pointing out that the chemicals in vaping products can have negative health effects on the youth.
“In younger people the brain is not fully developed so when you add those chemicals in, that can really cause a longterm problem,” explained Suffoletto.
Suffolleto and other supporters of the hotline believe it can help teens fight the peer pressure to start smoking.
“I think one of the biggest challenges for teens is the peer pressure from other teens that are doing it. They try to see if they can get away with smoking in school and once they get hooked on it, then that nicotine addiction kicks in and it just winds them to do it even more,” said Suffoletto.
To enroll in the “My Life, My Quit” program or learn more information, click here.