What works to help teens quit vaping?

February 7, 2019 |

E-cigarette use is surging among American teenagers, with millions of kids flirting with nicotine addiction by regularly vaping.

Unfortunately, these kids are going to face a rocky road if they try to kick their nicotine habit, experts say.

There are no tested or approved methods for quitting e-cigarettes, said Linda Richter, director of policy research and analysis at the Center on Addiction.

“The science of vaping cessation hasn’t caught up with the tremendous rise in use,” Richter said. “There really isn’t much out there that’s been proven.”

Teens addicted to vaping must rely on methods that have been shown to help tobacco quitters, but it’s not clear that those methods will be useful when it comes to e-cigarettes.

“It’s shocking to a lot of people in the field that we were so close to, if not eliminating, then really reducing cigarette smoking and tobacco use among young people. They just aren’t interested in cigarette smoking,” Richter said. “This was really going to go away, and now we have this whole generation of kids addicted to nicotine again and we just don’t know what we’re going to do about it.”

Nearly two of every five high school seniors have tried e-cigarettes during the past year, according to a federal survey. About 37 percent of 12th graders said they’d vaped within the past 12 months, compared to about 28 percent in 2017.

Dennis Thompson/WebMD

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