The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, teamed up with several schools throughout New Jersey and across the country for the first-ever #QuitLying Day, which took place on Thursday, January 16, 2020. The initiative was a student-led event to demand accountability by e-cigarette companies for spending millions marketing products directly to youth.
#QuitLying is an aggressive, nationwide youth, school and community engagement and awareness campaign designed to hold leading e-cigarette manufacturer JUUL and the e-cigarette industry accountable for their lies to youth about vaping and nicotine addiction. The campaign empowers teens via an online platform with facts and tools for social media. The platform also provides free resources for students, teachers and parents including fact sheets, lesson plans, school policy recommendations, cessation programs and resources, tips for talking to kids and activation ideas.
In the past two years, the number of teens who vape has more than doubled to 5 million, according to the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey. In fact, more than 1 in 4 high school students report vaping.
Tempting flavors found in e-cigarettes may be to blame for the increase in vaping among youth, according to recent research released by the American Heart Association.
In addition, e-cigarettes can contain unusually high levels of nicotine – in fact, one e-cigarette pod can contain at least as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. Youth who vape are particularly susceptible to nicotine addiction, which rewires the developing brain.
Overall understanding of the short- and long-term health impacts of youth vaping and nicotine exposure is limited. The American Heart Association has committed to a new $20 million research investment focused on the long-term health effects in youth, and a multi-year fund dedicated to public policy change at all levels of government to prevent youth vaping and nicotine addiction.
To learn more about the #QuitLying Initiative, visit quitlying.org.
Senior communications director for the American Heart Association in New Jersey, Lehigh Valley and Northeast PA. Dedicated to being a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.