State public health officials today announced a free online resource that offers coaching and support to young Montanans who want to stop using tobacco products, particularly electronic cigarettes like JUUL.
“The number of young Montanans addicted to e-cigarettes is alarming,” said DPHHS Director Sheila Hogan. “It’s unfortunate that people under 18 have already been exposed to harmful substances like tobacco, but it’s critical we offer every resource possible to help them quit now to avoid a lifelong addiction. I’m excited this free tool will allow young people to quit confidentially with a plan tailored to their needs.”
My Life, My Quit comes after the U.S. Surgeon General declared youth e-cigarette use an epidemic in December 2018. Data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey show high school e-cigarette use rose 78 percent from 2017 to 2018.
In Montana, e-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth. Almost half of high school students have tried e-cigarettes and more than 22 percent of high school students currently use e-cigarettes, compared to only 4 percent of adults.
Nicotine, no matter how it’s delivered, is unsafe for youth and young adults and can harm their developing brains. Nine out of 10 smokers start before age 18 and youth who start using tobacco products before their brains are fully developed are at a greater risk of addiction.
My Life, My Quit addresses how to quit vaping using best practices and offers new ways to reach a coach using live text messaging and online chat. Montana youth can text or call 1-855-891-9989 or visit mylifemyquit.com to enroll.
My Life, My Quit provides Montanans under the age of 18 with access to free, tailored resources for quitting, which include:
Youth coaches trained on the best ways to build relationships with the target audience.
Five coaching sessions by phone, live texting or chat with a coach who will listen and help teens navigate social situations while finding healthy ways to cope with stress.
100 percent confidential enrollment and coaching. No one will know a youth utilizes My Life, My Quit without their permission.
A dedicated toll-free number (1-855-891-9989) for real-time coaching.
Website (mylifemyquit.com) with online enrollment, chat with a live coach, information about vaping and tobacco, and activities to support quitting.
Additional text messages for support to quit vaping, smoking, or chewing tobacco.
Promotional and educational materials designed for youth with messages from their peers about quitting tobacco and vaping, and how to ask for support.
A water-marked certificate of completion of the program.
For more information about this resource, contact the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program at 406-444-7408 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.