Principal's Blog

  • Vaping and our youth

    Posted by Joyce Brewer on 10/15/2019

    Joyce Brewer from the Berkshire Area Health Educaiton Center wrote a powerful letter to health care professionals regarding the vaping epidemic among our youth. 

    "Vaping by youth has become what the U.S. Surgeon General calls an epidemic and many people are working to find solutions.  I’m asked frequently what can be done to turn the tide, and now new resources are available to educate youth and help those who want to quit vaping.  Sadly, many youth are unaware of the facts about and the dangers of vaping.  To help, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health developed a campaign designed for youth found at mass.gov/vaping.  It provides facts and materials for young people that compare vapes and cigarettes:  both put nicotine and cancer-causing chemicals in their body and both are highly addictive and dangerous for young people.  The vaping epidemic has led parents, schools and youth-serving organizations to struggle with how to help youth who are addicted to nicotine and want to quit.  Now, two new free programs, This is Quitting powered by truth® and My Life, My Quit™, are available to help Massachusetts youth become nicotine- and tobacco-free."

    Quitting vapes or other tobacco products can be hard. Here are some ways you can help young people get the support they need:

    • This is Quitting powered by truth® is a free and confidential texting program for young people who vape. Text “VapeFreeMass” to 88709.  In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
    • My Life, My Quit TM has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Young people can call or text "Start My Quit" to 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help. or sign up online at  mylifemyquit.com.
    • Visit teen.smokefree.gov for tools and tips.
    • Encourage young people to ask their school nurse or counselor, athletic coach, doctor, parent or other trusted adult for help.
    • For more information, young people can visit mass.gov/vaping.
    • More information for parents/adults is available at GetOutraged.org.

      Talking with young people about vaping is essential—youth need to know that vaping is harmful and that help is available for those who want to quit.  Visit GetOutraged.org to learn more or contact me at jbrewer@berkshireahec.org or (413) 842-5160


    Joyce Brewer
    TFCP Program Manager
    Berkshire AHEC
    395 Main St., Dalton, MA 01226

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