OKLAHOMA CITY – Quit Tobacco With Me, a program of the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, has launched a new educational campaign, “Nicotine = Brain Poison,” educating Oklahomans about the dangers of addiction and the health effects of nicotine mental.
The educational campaign includes television and radio, now live across the state, a webpage, social media posts, print ads, a blog, tips on how parents can talk to kids about vaping and a pamphlet on how to protect young people from tobacco and vaping. .
As mental health professionals sound the alarm, a vaping epidemic is sweeping middle and high schools across the state. Teens and young adults who vape fill their bodies with harmful chemicals and put their mental health at risk.
Recent studies indicate that most minors are either unaware that vapes contain nicotine or are unaware of the harmful effects of nicotine on their brains.
“Young people may not understand the detrimental impact of nicotine on their minds and bodies,” said Julie Bisbee, executive director of TSET. “Many Oklahoma youth are caught in a spiral of nicotine addiction that damages mental health and sets them up for a life of addiction. The sooner we end this dangerous cycle, the healthier future generations will be. We cannot allow the tobacco industry to harm another generation of our children.
The public health message is Tobacco Stops With Me’s latest effort to reverse the vaping epidemic. The “Nicotine = Brain Poison” campaign will fill gaps in understanding and educate about the effects of nicotine on the brains of adolescents and young adults. In adolescents, nicotine causes new and worsening emotional problems, including symptoms of anxiety, depression and ADHD. Memory, learning and behavior problems are more likely to appear later in life in people who use nicotine at a young age.
A recent study found that 98.7% of all flavored e-cigarette products contain nicotine.
According to the US Surgeon General, vaping products contain other harmful ingredients in addition to nicotine, including ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs; flavorings such as diacetyl, a chemical linked to severe lung disease; volatile organic compounds; and heavy metals, such as nickel, tin and lead.
Vapers are targeting a new generation of non-smokers with an array of flavors.
They stepped up with youth-focused social media campaigns and increased the level of nicotine in vaping products.
For teens ready to quit vaping, free help is available with My Life, My Quit by text, phone or online. To get started, text “Start My Quit” to 36072.
Tobacco Stops With Me offers resources and information for Oklahoma residents who want to fight back.
For parents, conversation tips, information downloads and more are available at QuitWithMe.com.
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