(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), in partnership with the Truth Initiative®, announced a text message program to help Indiana teens and young adults who want to quit vaping.
The This is Quitting program was created with input from teens, college students and young adults who have attempted to or successfully quit e-cigarettes. Hoosier youth who need help quitting vaping can text “Indiana” to 88709 and receive age-appropriate recommendations about ways to quit. The program is part of a three-pronged approach directed by Gov. Eric J. Holcomb to reduce youth vaping that focuses on prevention, education and cessation.
Since its launch in January 2019, This is Quitting has enrolled almost 100,000 teens and young adults nationwide. Preliminary data from the Truth Initiative show more than 60 percent of people using the texting feature reported that they had reduced or stopped using e-cigarettes after just two weeks.
“Teen vaping has reached epidemic proportions in Indiana and across the U.S.,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. She announced the new text-to-quit feature Monday during a Youth Action Day to call attention to the risks that tobacco products pose to young people. “While we’d like to see a world where no young person uses these products, the reality is that e-cigarette use in Indiana middle and high school students has increased more than 350 percent since 2012. We have to meet our youth where they are comfortable to help them quit, and texting is a proven way to do that.”
Indiana youth who enroll in This is Quitting will receive one support text per day for at least 60 days after their quit date. Individuals who are interested in ending e-cigarettes use but aren’t yet ready to set a quit date will receive at least four weeks of messages focused on building skills and confidence to prepare for quitting. Users can receive on-demand support for cravings, stress, slips and a desire for more tips or inspiration in addition to their scheduled interactive messages. Upon completion of the program, users will receive periodic text messages and may continue to receive messages of support for as long as needed.
Dr. Amanda Graham, chief of innovations at Truth Initiative, said many young people want to quit vaping but don’t know where to start.
“Text messaging is a proven, powerful strategy to deliver interventions that drive behavior change. We’ve taken input directly from young people and positioned This is Quitting as a supportive, non-judgmental friend, with text messages written in the first person or as quotes from other users,” she said.
Printable flyers and palm cards with the text code and number are available for download through VapeFreeIndiana.isdh.in.gov, as well as more information about the program.