New York State Department of Health Launches Effort to Reduce Vaping Among Youth

Vaping Among Youth Remains an Epidemic

Young People Who Vape Want to Quit; Department Develops Quit Vaping Materials for Middle and High Schools

ALBANY, N.Y. (January 11, 2024) – The New York State Department of Health continues to work to reduce vaping among young people. A much larger percentage of youth and young adults use e-cigarettes compared to older adults. Across New York State, 18.7 percent of high schoolers vaped in 2022.

"Exposure to nicotine during adolescence can cause addiction and damage to the developing adolescent brain, lungs, and overall health," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "The Department remains committed to decreasing vaping among young people and providing them with the resources that will help keep them informed, healthy, and safe."

A 2022 national survey of youth who vape found that more than half of respondents intend to quit. To help young people quit the use of e-cigarettes, the Department and the New York State Education Department are working together to provide students with materials that will inform them about free services available to help them successfully quit vaping.

The Department has developed posters, palm cards, and rack cards for middle schools and high schools/young adults, in both English and Spanish, to promote This is Quitting, a free, confidential text-message service, and the New York State Smokers' Quitline.

In a national survey, middle school and high school students said they first tried an e-cigarette because a friend used them and curiosity. Among youth who continue to vape, their most common reasons for using e-cigarettes are they feel anxious, stressed, or depressed, or to get a high or buzz from the nicotine.

E-cigarettes are by far the most used tobacco product by high school students in New York State. Among high school students, nearly 1 in 5 (18.7 percent) reported vaping nicotine compared to a record low of about 1 in 50 (2.1 percent) who reported smoking cigarettes in 2022. There is some evidence that current vaping among youth could lead to future cigarette use.

Most e-liquids contain nicotine, the highly addictive chemical in all tobacco products. Nicotine can harm the developing brains of adolescents and young adults, which can:

  • Lead to lower impulse control and mood disorders.
  • Disrupt attention and learning among youth and young adults.
  • Increase the risk for future addiction to other drugs.

This is Quitting is a free, anonymous text message cessation service designed specifically for young people 13-24. This is Quitting, is evidence-based, and was developed by Truth Initiative with input from young people who want to quit vaping. The messages show the benefits and challenges of quitting, to help young people feel motivated, inspired, and supported throughout their quitting process. To date, the initiative has helped more than 600,000 young people nationally on their journey to quit vaping. Young people can join This is Quitting by texting “DropTheVape” to 88709.

The Department remains dedicated to ending the use of e-cigarettes among all young people across New York State.

Information about e-cigarettes can be found here.

The New York State Smokers' Quitsite can be found here.

Drop the Vape Materials can be ordered here.