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A yellow banner with the text "Vaping Awareness"

A red banner with the text "FAQs"

A yellow banner with the text "Information & Facts"

According to TeensHealth.org, “Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) or other vaping device.”  These are battery-powered and rechargeable smoking devices.  They have cartridges filled with a liquid that can contain nicotine, marijuana, and flavorings.  This liquid is heated by the device into a vapor, which is inhaled. E-cigarettes come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Most brands of e-cigarettes contain similar levels of nicotine to traditional cigarettes.  One JUUL cartridge, for example, has the same levels of nicotine as one pack of (or 20 individual) cigarettes.  The aerosol emitted by vaping cartridges also contain other harmful chemicals and substances, including heavy metals such as lead, volatile organic compounds, and cancer-causing agents.

Vaping was originally marketed as a “safer” alternative to smoking cigarettes and a means of quitting smoking altogether, however there is no evidence that using e-cigarettes can help someone quit smoking, and nearly all of the health risks related to cigarettes are relevant to the risks of vaping.  The FDA issued a warning against promoting these false claims, as well as warning against the dangerous and fatal effects of their outreach to students.

CDC Infographic: Types of Vapes

A green banner with the text "Effects"

Many vape devices contain nicotine.  Nicotine, no matter its form of inhalation, is addictive.  Teenagers and young adults are especially prone to its effects.  Nicotine affects brain development, which can make it difficult to learn and concentrate, and is incredibly harmful to the developing adolescent brain.  Nicotine also irritates the throat and lungs, which can lead to serious damage.  The aerosols produced by vape devices leave behind chemical residue that is harmful for the user, those around them, and the environment.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed clinical similarities in lung illnesses associated with e-cigarettes and vaping.  More information about what the CDC considers an Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with the Use of E-Cigarette and Vaping Products can be found here.

CDC Infographic: Vape Contents

A green banner with the text "Peer Pressure"

The topic of vaping may seem impossible to avoid, as marketing for it is practically everywhere you look—on TV, in storefronts, in magazines—and targeted just for you. The most important thing is that you know the facts, your resources, and how to help yourself and those you love.

Some students may feel peer pressure to vape and some situations may be difficult to navigate or avoid.  There might be circumstances when you feel pressure to vape because there are friends or people you admire who are doing it.  In these types of situations, it is important to remember that you have the right to make choices for yourself and your body.  If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, remember that you always have the right to leave, say no, or make up an excuse (such as blaming your parents).

Remember that many students are affected by vaping.  Please reach out to a trusted adult if you have questions, need help, or think that a friend needs help.

CDC Graphic: Types of Vapes

A blue banner with the text "Resources & Support"

Support at School
There are many people at school who are willing to listen and talk.  Please reach out to a trusted adult at school if you need help.  A list of school support resources can be found here.  Information shared with school counselors and nurses will not be shared without your permission, unless there is a risk of harm to yourself or someone else.


Hotlines — Call & Text Support
If you or someone you know is at risk of harming themselves or others, please call 911 immediately.  Describe the situation to the operator and find a trusted adult to help.

If you are having a non-emergency crisis, there are many resources available.  Below is a list of some important numbers and resources to know about in case you find yourself or someone you know needing anonymous support.

My Life, My Quit: (855) 891-9989 or text "Start My Quit"
At My Life, My Quit we share the truth about nicotine, vaping and other tobacco products.  If you decide you want to quit, we're here to help you do it successfully.  Text or call to talk with a coach who is ready to listen and cheer you on. My Life, My Quit is always free and confidential.

Truth Initiative: "DITCHJUUL" to 88709
Youth and young adults can access the new e-cigarette quit program by the Truth Initiative.

SmokefreeTXT for Teens: Text QUIT to 47848
Young adults (13-19 years old) in the United States who want to be smokefree can receive 3-5 messages per day for 6-8 weeks, depending on your quit rate, by Smokefree Teen.

Massachusetts Department of Public Health: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
All states have quitlines with counselors who are trained specifically to help smokers quit.  You can call this number to connect directly to your state’s quitline. Hours of operation and services vary from state to state. 

The National Cancer Institute: 1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848)
The National Cancer Institute’s trained counselors provide information and support for quitting in English and Spanish.  Call Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.

National Cancer Institute LiveHelp; LiveHelp in Spanish
Connect with an information specialist.  Get immediate information and answers about quitting smoking.  LiveHelp is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.

SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator: 1-800-662-4357 (English and Español)
For 24/7 free and confidential information and referrals in English and Spanish, call SAMHSA’s National Helpline.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727, English and Español)
For 24/7 free and confidential information about e-cigarettes, vaping, and tobacco in English and Spanish.


Websites — Resources & Information
There are many resources about vaping on the internet.  Below are some dependable links that you can browse for information and support.

Know the Risks
Know the Risks is a great guide for students to help understand the facts and risks behind vaping and e-cigarettes.

Smokefree Teen
Smokefree Teen is part of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Smokefree.gov Initiative.  The goal of Smokefree Teen is to reduce the number of youth who use tobacco.

Truth Initiative
Truth Initiative conducts groundbreaking research and policy studies, gives young people the facts about tobacco and the industry behind it, engages individuals and groups to make change in their communities, innovates new ways to end tobacco use and joins forces with collaborators committed to a tobacco-free future.

National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens (NIDA for Teens)
NIDA has the latest information on e-cigarettes, vaping, and tobacco and their affects on the brain and body.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC has valuable information and public health resources, including health effects and statistics on smoking and vaping.


Apps

BecomeAnEX by Truth Initiative
BecomeAnEX is a free, digital quit-smoking plan and online community of thousands of smokers and ex-smokers developed by Truth Initiative in collaboration with Mayo Clinic.  It has helped more than 800,000 people develop the skills and confidence to successfully quit.  Research has shown that following the BecomeAnEX quit plan quadruples a tobacco user's chance of quitting.

quitSTART
The quitSTART app is a free smartphone app that helps you quit smoking with tailored tips, inspiration, and challenges.


While we strive to make the information on these pages as timely and accurate as possible, we cannot guarantee this at all times.  Any reference to any person, organization, activities, or products, or any links from this website to the website of another party, do not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of Shrewsbury Public Schools.