- February 17, 2021
- Jennifer Salerno
Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but teens’ love of vaping is still going strong. According to the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey, 38.9% of current high school e-cigarette users use e-cigarettes on 20 days or more per month, up from 34.2% in 2019.
While the dangers of vaping are nothing new, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents all new risks. Stanford researchers found that youth who vape are five to seven times more likely to be infected by COVID-19 than their peers who do not vape.
“Young people may believe their age protects them from contracting the virus or that they will not experience symptoms of COVID-19, but the data show this isn’t true among those who vape,” said Shivani Mathur Gaiha, PhD, the study’s lead author. “This study tells us pretty clearly that youth who are using vapes or are dual-using [e-cigarettes and cigarettes] are at elevated risk, and it’s not just a small increase in risk; it’s a big one.”
The big question is: how do we combat the continuing vaping trend when youth aren’t in person at school or scheduling annual appointments? The answer: Adolescent Counseling Technology (ACT), behavioral health intervention delivered via a virtual health educator.
ACT for Nicotine & Tobacco (ACT-NT) identifies which nicotine products a youth is using, how often and why. Identifying what triggers nicotine usage (peer influence, stress, addiction) and what might motivate them to make a change is critical in providing a tailored, effective action plan to quit.
Developed with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), ACT-NT was created to provide an engaging platform for youth while ensuring quality, evidence-based cessation coaching that works with professionals—as a stand-alone tool or during a visit—optimizing their time to properly address nicotine and tobacco risk.
Youth using ACT-NT show a 34% decrease in the use of nicotine products after 1 month, with 44% reduction after 3 months, and 50% of youth reporting vaping took steps to reduce or quit using.
With tailored risk coaching action plans and continued engagement via text, ACT-NT can help you continue providing important nicotine and tobacco cessation support, even from a distance.
Schedule a call with us today to learn more.