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Young activists want the White House to know vaping nicotine is a mental health issue

Young people nationwide are mobilizing to demand that the White House, the Food and Drug Administration, and other decision makers declare youth vaping nicotine a mental health issue.

On April 27 at 3 p.m. EST, young people across the country will take a “collective breath” with truth as part of the truth Moment of Action for Mental Health. Every “breath” taken with truth via their Instagram livestream, custom breathing exercise video by the app Breathwrk, or interactive Snapchat lens will signal to the White House and all decision makers that young people are taking action on vaping nicotine and mental health.

truth presents the Moment of Action

Breaths can be taken any time leading up to the April 27 collective breath, and young people can join the movement by texting ACTION to 88709 or visiting and organizing “breathe in” efforts offline in their community and on campuses.

They can also tweet to the White House, urging officials to recognize vaping nicotine as a mental health issue; commit to taking action in the fight to protect their generation’s mental health; and tell truth why they are taking action and what they did for a chance to win an Impact Award of up to $500 and apply for a 2022 Impact Scholarship of up to $10,000.

Sixteen youth truth activists will host the nationwide Moment of Action for Mental Health from on the ground in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. The Moment of Action is part of the truth youth prevention and education effort Breath of Stress Air, which debunks the marketing of e-cigarettes as stress relievers and calls out vape companies for selling vaping as a way to deal with stress, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, research shows vaping nicotine can increase anxiety symptoms and stress levels.

Breath of Stress Air expands the latest campaign from truth, It’s Messing with Our Heads, which exposed nicotine’s role as a contributor to the worsening youth mental health crisis through the launch of a fake vaping company called Depression Stick! Nicotine use and mental health are linked in many ways, according to a body of peer-reviewed research gathered in the Truth Initiative report “Colliding Crises: Youth mental health and nicotine use.” The report highlights how nicotine can worsen anxiety symptoms and amplify feelings of depression, and the new resource “Nicotine Use and Stress” explores the stress connection in-depth.