The Washington State Department of Health announced this week the launch of a new smartphone app to help teens and young adults quit vaping.
The app was developed with 2Morrow Inc., and is available for free to Washingtonians at doh.wa.gov/quit and is accessible via smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop computer.
“This app is a promising resource to help tackle the youth vaping epidemic in our state,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, state health officer. “By making tools to quit accessible via smartphone and computer, our hope is that more young people feel empowered to quit vaping.”
The self-guided program includes ten short lessons, messaging protocols and customized tips, according to the DOH.
The app is designed to help participants learn how to deal with urges and cravings and practice reducing or quitting vaping. Participants receive daily text-based messages and have the ability to track their progress.
Studies have shown that users of similar 2Morrow cessation programs are six times more likely to quit than those doing it on their own, according to the DOH.
“Although we don’t yet understand all the health effects of vaping, we do know that nicotine is very addictive and that it can have negative effects on a maturing brain,” said Jo Masterson, chief product officer at 2Morrow. “Quitting nicotine is not easy. However, there are proven strategies that can help. We believe that using apps to deliver these programs will be more attractive to youth than traditional methods, increasing access and quit attempts.”
According to the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey, approximately 30 percent of high school seniors used vapor products in 2018. In a separate survey 2Morrow conducted, 87.5 percent of teen respondents reported they had considered quitting vaping, and of those, 71.4 percent feel that they will quit before they are 21 years old. However, many teens don’t perceive health risks from vaping, nor the difficulty of quitting once addicted.
To sign up for the app and find other quit programs, go to www.doh.wa.gov/quit.