A Harvard addiction medicine specialist is getting calls from distraught parents around the country. A Stanford psychologist is getting calls from rattled school officials around the world. A federal agency has ordered a public hearing on the issue.
Alarmed by the addictive nature of nicotine in e-cigarettes and its impact on the developing brain, public health experts are struggling to address a surging new problem: how to help teenagers quit vaping.
Until now, the storm over e-cigarettes has largely focused on how to keep the products away from minors. But the pervasiveness of nicotine addiction among teenagers who already use the devices is now sinking in — and there is no clear science or treatment to help them stop.
“Nobody is quite sure what to do with those wanting to quit, as this is all so new,” said Ira Sachnoff, president of Peer Resource Training and Consulting in San Francisco, which trains students to educate peers about smoking and vaping. “We are all searching for quit ideas and services for this new nicotine delivery method. It is desperately needed.”
A month ago, Matt Murphy, 19, shared w NYT readers his desperate struggle to quit vaping. I wondered if protocols existed to help teens stop vaping nicotine. Nope. https://t.co/C5dAThu40P
— Jan Hoffman (@JanHoffmanNYT) December 18, 2018