SALT LAKE CITY — A social media campaign started by the Truth Initiative has inspired teens and young adults to find creative ways to destroy their e-cigarette products and quit vaping altogether.
The campaign is getting help from Tiktok influencers such as Nick Uhas, Tisha Alyn and Sam Grubbs. Videos of these influencers doing "trick shots" into ice-cold water, soda bottle explosions, and science experiments with vaping products circulated on their personal accounts. Now, many participating Tiktok users are following in their footsteps.
The campaign has found its way to Twitter and Instagram too, through trending hashtags: #thisisquiting, #ditchvape, #escapethevape, #ditchjuul and #fighttheflavor.
Some even call the campaign a movement, using #quitjuul on their social media posts.
I posted a story of me throwing my juul out the window and people sent me videos of them doing the same and it made me so happy 🙏🏼 #quitjuul— Sidra (@sidra_17) September 11, 2019
"Vaping was cool when we thought it was healthier than cigarettes. Now it's just embarrassing," one young twitter user tweeted. "Not gonna waste my money on nicotine, when I could spend it on Taco Bell #DITCHJUUL."
Juul Labs holds one of the top e-cigarette brands of the market with annual revenue of over $3 billion, according to Bloomberg.
The Utah Department of Health’s recent outbreak data documented 127 official cases e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury, or EVALI. Most people affected by EVALI were under 30 years old, according to the recent study done by the Utah Department of Health.
In Utah, 12.4% of teens from eighth, 10th and 12th grade have vaped within the last 30 days, according to the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.
"We’re seeing the highest ... increases among our 16- and 17-year-olds,” said Ryan Bartlett, media coordinator for the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.
Though vaping numbers are trending up in all age categories surveyed, the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program has seen an overall increase in "quit-line" calls from adults and teens this past year.
“We know that nicotine is harmful to the developing brain," Bartlett told KSL.com, specifying its elevated harm to those under the age of 25.
Bartlett said parents are also growing more aware of the vaping problem.
“We’ve seen more parents becoming curious about what’s going on and looking out for warning signs, as far as whether or not their own children are vaping," he said.
One mom tweeted, "The movement of 2020 @ColeBennett_ !! #quitjuul."
In addition, a Truth Initiative survey showed that almost half of 15- to 24-year-olds have a New Year's resolution to quit vaping in 2020. The website This is Quitting is a Truth Initiative program designed to help teenagers quit vaping through their phones by sending motivating messages from others who have quit vaping in the past.
The Tobacco Prevention and Control Program also provides a variety of approaches to quit vaping, and websites like Healthline.com share suggestions on "how to break up with vaping" for users trying to quit.
“Our priority is to let parents know that their children may be vaping and that they shouldn’t be vaping," Bartlett said. "To let the youth know that they shouldn’t be vaping, and to provide people with the resources that they need to quit vaping if they’ve started, and to prevent them from starting if they haven’t started yet.”
He hopes the social media campaigns to quit vaping continue to make an impact and decrease the number of teens vaping.
For more information on the quit vape initiative, go to truthinitiative.org.