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Caregivers can educate teenagers and young adults about free resources available to quit smoking or vaping through NYS Smokers' Quitline
Guest Editorial by the New York State Smokers' Quitline
Back-to-school season doesn’t have to mean back to cigarettes or back to vape products. Numerous free resources to become tobacco-free are available through the New York State Smokers' Quitline and its partners. One visit to nysmokefree.com or a call to 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) is all it takes to begin a journey to better health, which will lead to improved mood and concentration in school.
Highly trained Quit Coaches are available seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. to empower tobacco users through free, individualized coaching. Most NYS residents ages 18 and older also will qualify to receive a free starter supply of stop-smoking medication, such as nicotine patches, nicotine gum or nicotine lozenges.
The Quitline also recommends parents and guardians to review a new resource through the NYC Department of Health, titled "How to Talk with Your Children About Tobacco and E-Cigarettes: A Coaching Guide." The helpful guide is available online in eight different languages.
To learn more firsthand from young adults in NYS about the benefits of becoming tobacco-free, the Quitline encourages the public to visit its YouTube page at www.youtube.com/nysmokefree and watch an online roundtable discussion from this past April, titled "Tobacco Free Stories and 'Tips' from the Young and Young-at-Heart." Many of the panelists are young adults who smoked and/or vaped as teens, but now enjoy improved focus, concentration, breathing and overall health through tobacco-free living.
Finally, for additional support specific to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) – commonly referred to as e-cigarettes or vapes – the Quitline promotes the NYS-specific version of the Truth Initiative's text-based intervention, "This Is Quitting." This innovative, free and anonymous text message program was created with input from teenagers, college students and young adults who have attempted to or successfully quit vaping. Tailored to specific age groups (13-17 and 18-24) to give age-appropriate quitting recommendations, New York state youth can text “DropTheVape” to 88709 to access the free program.
New Yorkers aged 13 to 24 who want to stop vaping can enroll in the free and anonymous text messaging program by texting “DropTheVape” to 88709. New Yorkers of all ages can contact the Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or visit nysmokefree.com for free and confidential smoking and vaping quit-services and to determine their eligibility to receive free starter kits of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
Enrollees in the program receive interactive daily text messages tailored to their sign-up date or their target quit-date, should they choose to set one. Messages include encouragement, motivation, tips, skill and self-efficacy building exercises, and coping strategies. The program also directs users to the Quitline for the additional resources previously mentioned, to help them break their dependence on smoking or vaping tobacco.
The Quitline encourages everyone throughout NYS to consider back-to-school season as an opportune time to educate or reeducate oneself and others about the resources available for becoming tobacco-free. Now is the time to take charge of becoming healthy – especially before dependence takes hold and potentially hinders optimal brain development. Start today with a call to 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or a visit to nysmokefree.com.
The New York State Smokers' Quitline is a service of the New York State Department of Health and based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is one of the first and busiest state quitlines in the nation, and has responded to nearly 3 million calls since it began operating in 2000. The Quitline encourages nicotine users to talk with their health care professionals and access available Medicaid or health insurance benefits for stop-smoking medications. All New York state residents can call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) for coaching and resources, free of charge, seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. Visit www.nysmokefree.com for more information.
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer's grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or [email protected].