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Unvaping America’s Youth

Join Truth Initiative for a virtual discussion about the work happening on multiple fronts to end the pervasive youth e-cigarette epidemic, from preventing young people from starting to vape in the first place to helping the millions who are already addicted quit.

In this latest Impact Series event, “Unvaping America’s Youth,” we’ll explore our holistic approach to reverse the epidemic, including the important role of parents and educators, and hear real-life stories about what it’s like to vape and quit e-cigarettes today. We’ll also spotlight results of a new clinical trial, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, that demonstrates the effectiveness of the free and anonymous text message program This is Quitting and begins to fill an important gap in understanding how to help young people quit.

Despite the tobacco industry’s insistence to regulators that e-cigarettes are intended for and marketed to adult smokers, youth and young adults continue to vape at the highest rates. The latest National Youth Tobacco Survey found that nearly one in five high school students (19.6%) use e-cigarettes, nearly 40% of them (38.9%) every day or almost daily. Youth e-cigarette use remains at epidemic levels, driven by a huge shift in the use of disposable e-cigarettes, which come in many sweet and fruity flavors, and menthol e-cigarettes – two product categories exempted from federal restrictions put in place in 2020.

Jamie Ducharme, health correspondent at TIME and author of the recently published book “Big Vape: The Incendiary Rise of Juul,” will lead a panel discussion with public health experts, former vapers, and tobacco prevention advocates.


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Jamie Ducharme
Jamie Ducharme is a health correspondent at TIME magazine and the author of the new book (and upcoming docuseries) Big Vape: The Incendiary Rise of Juul. Big Vape builds upon Jamie's years of reporting on Juul, vaping, and the e-cigarette industry, taking readers behind the scenes as Juul grew from a Stanford thesis project to a massively popular product infamous for hooking teenagers on nicotine. In addition to her reporting on vaping, Jamie has helped lead TIME's COVID-19 coverage over the course of the pandemic. Her work has won awards from the New York Press Club, the Deadline Club, and the Newswomen's Club of New York.
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Robin Koval
Robin Koval is CEO and President of Truth Initiative®, the national public health organization dedicated to achieving a culture where all young people reject smoking, vaping, and nicotine. An acclaimed leader in the advertising and marketing world, and New York Times best-selling author, Koval joined Truth Initiative in 2013. She’s led the successful re-launch of the award-winning and lifesaving truth® youth tobacco prevention campaign and expanded the organization’s world-class research, public education, youth activism, and digital cessation programs to also combat the youth e-cigarette epidemic.
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Dr. Amanda Graham
Amanda Graham is Chief of Innovations at Truth Initiative who leads a cross-functional team that develops, evaluates, and markets digital products for tobacco cessation. Under her leadership, and in collaboration with partners at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Graham led the development of the EX® Program, an enterprise digital tobacco cessation platform designed for employers and health plans, and This Is Quitting, a first-of-its-kind quit vaping program for teens and young adults. Dr. Graham is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and is internationally recognized as a thought leader in digital smoking interventions.
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Meredith Berkman
Meredith Berkman is a co-founder of Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes, a national advocacy and education organization created in 2018 by three concerned moms as a grassroots response to the youth vaping epidemic. Powered by parent volunteers across the country, PAVe advocates at the local, state, and federal levels for an end to sales of all flavored e-cigarettes and all menthol and other flavored tobacco products. PAVe’s educational initiative provides free training, resources, and materials in both Spanish and English that empower parents to educate others in their own communities about the dangers of youth vaping and the predatory behavior of Big Tobacco. Berkman, a mother of four, is a graduate of Brown University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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Dr. Rachel Boykan
Dr. Rachel Boykan is Professor of Pediatrics at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, Associate Pediatric Residency Director for the Stony Brook Pediatric Residency Program and a pediatric hospitalist at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. In 2012 Dr. Boykan spearheaded a partnership between Stony Brook Children’s and the New York State Smokers’ Quitline Opt-to-Quit™ Program – the first implementation of this electronic referral program at a children’s hospital. Dr. Boykan works closely with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to address smoking exposure in children and use of electronic cigarettes in teenagers. Since 2014, Dr. Boykan has served as a member of AAP’s Tobacco Consortium and since 2018, she has been the Education and Membership Chair of the AAP Section on Tobacco Control.
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Sam is a 19-year-old former vaper from Gaffney, South Carolina, who attends the University of South Carolina Upstate. Sam began using e-cigarettes at the age of 16 during his sophomore year of high school and made several attempts to quit. After seeing a recent truth campaign proving that it’s possible to quit for good, he was inspired to stop vaping once and for all. Sam has been nicotine-free for over three months now.

About This is Quitting

To enroll in This is Quitting, teens and young adults text DITCHVAPE to 88709. The first messages they receive will ask for their age and product usage so that they are able to receive relevant messages. Users receive one age-appropriate message per day tailored to their enrollment date or quit date, which can be set and reset via text message.

Those who are not ready to quit receive at least four weeks of messages focused on building skills and confidence. Users with a quit date receive one week of messages prior to that date and at least eight weeks of messages after their quit date. Throughout the program, users can text COPE, STRESS, SLIP or MORE to receive instant support. Upon completion of the program, users receive periodic text messages from truth® and may continue to use supportive keywords for as long as they like.

Truth Initiative Impact Series

The Truth Initiative Impact Series is a robust, recurring event that brings together key stakeholders and experts to engage in thought-provoking conversations about ways we can innovate and inspire action to achieve a culture where young people reject smoking, vaping, and nicotine. The goal of this thought leadership series is to convene diverse partners in tobacco control and other public health organizations, parents, teachers, and policy makers, who can benefit from Truth Initiative’s work.

In case you missed it, watch our last Impact Series event: “Not Buying It: The Tobacco Industry's Rebrand”