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How to quit vaping – or help someone quit – during the coronavirus pandemic

With the coronavirus pandemic occurring at a time of record-high youth vaping in the United States, many, including the nation’s doctor, have raised concerns about whether e-cigarette use could make young people more susceptible to the virus. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said in an interview with Fox Radio that, given evidence that vaping causes lung damage, “we’re worried that may predispose young people, in particular, to having complications from COVID.”

While it is too soon to know the specific impacts of the virus on people who use e-cigarettes, there is growing evidence that vaping can harm lung health overall. Since the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 attacks the lungs, taking measures to protect respiratory health is critical, especially given new Centers for Disease Control data showing that some young people are experiencing severe impacts from coronavirus more than previously thought. For example, 38% of hospitalized coronavirus patients in the U.S. were younger adults (20-54 years old) and 20% were ages 20 to 44. Some teenagers have also been hospitalized.

There has never been a more important time for young people to quit vaping – and for all tobacco-users to quit, no matter the product – to protect their health.

Connecting with a sense of community during social distancing

With many teenagers and young adults at home and adjusting to vastly different routines and social isolation, those who vape may find themselves unable to get e-cigarettes and experiencing difficult withdrawal symptoms. Or, they may be vaping even more to cope with stress and isolation.

Whatever the situation, connecting with a sense of community during this time is important. truth®, which has been running a series of TikTok challenges as part of the “Ready to Ditch JUUL” campaign, launched a new challenge aimed at helping young people stay connected while they stay at home. The #WerkItFromHome challenge encourages social distancing by challenging people to strut the runway to celebrate the must-have looks of our cozy quarantines.

This is Quitting, the free and anonymous quit vaping program from Truth Initiative, is also built on offering a sense of community. The text message program is tailored by age group to give teens and young adults appropriate recommendations about quitting. It offers tips and encouragement written by other young people to give people the support they need to know they are not alone in their journey to quit.

Resources to stop vaping

coronavirus and vaping

If you want to quit vaping or want to help your child or loved one quit now, we’ve compiled some of our top evidence-based resources that could help during this time:

  • How to quit JUUL: For those who want to quit JUUL, or any type of e-cigarette, the experts behind our digital quit-smoking programs This is Quitting and BecomeAnEX® have some answers. They researched how to help people quit e-cigarettes by talking to teens, college students and young adults who have attempted to or successfully quit e-cigarettes. Combining these insights and years of experience helping tobacco users, they created the first-of-its-kind, free text message program to give young people, as well as their parents, the support they need. Adults who are looking to quit vaping can also find resources on
  • How to help your child quit vaping: Parental support can be key to help a young person quit. But what kind of support? This guide lays out some advice for how best to help.
  • Young ex-vapers share their experience and advice on quitting vaping: Quitting is hard and hearing from people who have been there can help. This article includes advice and words of encouragement from a range of young people who have quit or are on their way.
  • Quitting vaping? Here are 5 tips for handling nicotine withdrawal: Nicotine withdrawal can be a challenge when quitting. It may be especially tough for people experiencing it as a side effect of social distancing if they got e-cigarettes from social connections or other sources that are now inaccessible. These tips can help.

For more information and resources on quitting, visit the Truth Initiative website.