There is growing evidence that more young vapers want to quit—and that social media can help them do it. New data reveal that 60% of the young e-cigarette users surveyed want to quit within the year. Of those who want to quit vaping, having a support system on social media (43.6%), following along with a group of social influencers who were quitting (41.7%) and watching an influencer quit vaping themselves (40.8%) would help them do so. More than half (51.2%) agree that texting would also help them stop vaping.
To meet young people where they are, truth—the proven-effective and nationally recognized youth smoking, vaping and nicotine prevention campaign from Truth Initiative® —is using social media platforms to help young people achieve their quit goals. truth launched its latest campaign, Quit Together, which, for the first time, pulls back the curtains to show what quitting e-cigarettes really looks like for young people. The campaign builds on insights about what young people say they need to help them quit.
As part of the campaign, truth partners with TikTok influencers and current e-cigarette users Victoria Annunziato (aka King Victober), Tosha and Jerry Purpdrank who are inviting young people—including their combined 11.3 million followers—to join them and “quit together.” In addition, Christian DelGrosso, a top influencer and non-vaping friend of Jerry’s is lending his support as part of the campaign. He shared, “Quitting nicotine is very hard and no one should have to do it alone. For anyone trying to quit, having their friends stand alongside them can be an important part of their success. By supporting Jerry on his journey, I’m also supporting any young person who is taking a step to quit.”
The campaign is spotlighting the influencers’ quitting journeys using This is Quitting, a first-of-its-kind, free and anonymous, text message, quit vaping program from truth for youth and young adults. Together, these influencers will join the more than 245,000 young people who are have enrolled in the program to quit. The content is also being shared across truth‘s online and digital platforms and searchable across social media platforms using #QuitTogether and #ThisisQuitting.
Quit Together‘s influencers began posting their videos to TikTok on January 8th, announcing their intentions to quit vaping e-cigarettes. Over the course of six weeks, they’ll continue posting updates about their quitting experiences, sharing advice and support from This is Quitting, giving their followers encouragement to quit, and sharing in milestones together along the way. They’ll also speak directly to the health effects of e-cigarettes, including their impact on anxiety and lung health, and the importance of having support from friends and family while quitting.
“Like many others, I started using e-cigarettes when I was young. I had no idea what nicotine was or how addictive it could be,” said Victoria Annunziato. “I want to use my platform and work with truth to start a conversation about my own experience using e-cigarettes and now quitting, so others can avoid the traps that got me hooked, or quit with me if they are already vaping. I’m hopeful that my journey will inspire others and spread awareness.”
In addition, truth will feature the quit journey of several young people using This Is Quitting to stop vaping. Their stories will be documented on social media and in a YouTube series called “Quitters,” which will launch in early February. To enroll in This is Quitting, teens and young adults can text “DITCHVAPE” to 88709.
“I first started vaping during parties at college,” said Tosha. “It quickly went from asking my friends for a hit of their e-cigarettes to going out and buying my own. Now, here I am two years later, addicted to nicotine and I just want to stop. I’m ready to feel healthier and do other things, that’s why I’m joining truth and using This is Quitting to quit e-cigarettes. With the support of my friends, family and This is Quitting, I know I can leave vaping behind and hope others will join me.”
The campaign comes at a time when e-cigarette use remains pervasive and at epidemic levels among young people.1 A new Monitoring the Future Survey (MTF) published December 15 in JAMA Pediatrics shows that 22% of 10th and 12th graders report using e-cigarettes in the last 30 days.2 These data mirror those from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), which found that nearly one in five high school students (19.6%) use e-cigarettes, with nearly forty percent of them (38.9%) doing so on 20 or more of the past 30 days.3
The dangers of nicotine use are even more worrisome during COVID-19. Stanford University School of Medicine found young people who reported ever using e-cigarettes were up to five times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 compared to their non-vaping peers. Dual users of cigarettes and e-cigarettes are nearly seven times more likely to test positive for the disease.4 And young people are recognizing the dangers and becoming more health conscious amid the pandemic. Truth Initiative survey data show that nearly half of 15- to 24-year-olds responded that the pandemic has prompted them to look for information about quitting (48%) or talk to someone about quitting (45%).