Last week we released our new public awareness campaign, Vape is a Lie, that teaches kids in Arizona about the potential dangers of using e-cigarettes. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that can have several negative effects on your health. There is no safe level of nicotine for children.
After the release of the campaign, we received feedback from some members in the community about the intent of the campaign. We are glad this discussion has started. To clarify, the campaign is for youth, especially those that have not started smoking or vaping. The videos, website, and other materials for the campaign were developed to speak directly to kids by using language and images that appeal to this audience. It is our responsibility in public health to protect the safety of the entire community, especially children. This campaign is an important tool to help prevent nicotine addiction in our kids. We can all agree that the health and wellness of our kids should be a priority.
We recognize that for some adults, e-cigarettes may serve as a harm reduction function for adults as it can reduce the amount of toxic smoke that is inhaled when smoking a traditional cigarette. The levels of nicotine can be controlled in many e-cigarette devices or, in some cases, not added at all. We’re working hard to reduce the number of people who smoke statewide. There is no one solution to quitting smoking, and e-cigarettes may be helpful tool to adults who want to quit.
There is no reason children should use any product that contains nicotine. Decades of research shows that nicotine is highly addictive, and the younger a person becomes addicted, the harder it is to quit. It is illegal for people under the age of 18 to purchase or use cigarettes, other tobacco products, and e-cigarettes. Our campaign includes powerful, factual information that will help our state’s youth make informed decisions about e-cigarettes.
To help anyone in Arizona quit tobacco and e-cigarettes, we operate the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline, commonly called the ASHLine. Anyone who is ready to quit can contact the ASHLine at 1-800-55-66-222 for free and talk to a coach about the best way to beat their addiction to nicotine. In addition to coaching, the ASHLine also offers up to four weeks free of nicotine replacement therapy.