From Hot Ice to Swimming Pools, Teens Are Coming Up with Creative Ways to Ditch Their Vapes
Truth Initiative is encouraging youths to quit using e-cigarettes and break their vapes in viral videos
Teens are ready to quit vaping, and they’re doing it in style!
According to Truth Initiative, almost 50 percent of 15- to 24-year-old e-cigarette users resolved to quit vaping this year, and in the first few days of 2020, the organization hopes to start movement with their new campaign, which encourages youths to come up with creative ways to break their vapes.
Truth is partnering with TikTok influencers to start a viral challenge showing different ways to “Ditch Their JUUL,” beginning with the “Ice Water Trick Shot.” The idea is for teens to film themselves doing elaborate trick shots to dunk (and break) their vapes in ice water. The campaign focuses on JUUL in particular because the vape brand has been popular among teens.
One influencer, Tisha Alyn, said that she decided to join in due to concerns about the health risks of vaping.
“The latest data show more young people than ever are vaping, a harsh reality that becomes even more apparent through social media. This hits me close to home because this is the environment that my two younger brothers face, and I want to help change that,” Alyn said. “That’s why I’m very excited to partner with truth and use my platform to inspire kids to kick their JUULs to the curb and quit for good.”
In Alyn’s video, she manages to flip a JUUL into a glass of ice water held up by a friend with a golf club.
Another influencer, Nick Uhas, decides to use science to destroy his vape. He takes sodium acetate anhydrous, the hot ice used in heating pads, and drops in a JUUL, which instantly reacts to the chemicals.
Along with these videos, Truth is offering texting support, called This Is Quitting, for teens who want to stop vaping. They can text “DitchVAPE” to 88709 for free and anonymous support, and according to preliminary data published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research, after two weeks of help from This Is Quitting, 60.8 percent of users said they had reduced or stopped using e-cigarettes.
RELATED VIDEO: Teen’s Lung and Kidneys Destroyed by Vaping Illness
As of Dec. 27, 55 people have died and 2,561 people have been hospitalized due to vaping-related lung problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The federal agency said that teen vaping is a “public health tragedy,” with the majority of lung illness cases occurring in males aged 18 to 35, with the youngest patient being just 13 years old. A 17-year-old from New York City is the youngest to die from the vaping-related illness.
Congress has since raised the legal buying age for all tobacco products — traditional and e-cigarettes — to 21, and e-cigarette companies like JUUL say they are working with the CDC and Food and Drug Administration to curb teen use. But currently, the percentage of U.S. high school students who use tobacco products is at the highest in 19 years, with 27.5 percent saying they vape daily.