Vaping, aka e-cigarettes, came on the scene a few short years ago and were thought to be a useful tool when trying to quit the cigarette addiction. But, soon the product and industry took off and questionable ingredients were used and people began to die literally of vape use alone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaping among young people has increased by the millions. One year ago, in February 2019, CDC Director Robert Redfield said that vaping, “threatens to erase progress” in the fight against youth tobacco use.
In the High Country, AppHealthCare is a part of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program administered by the North Carolina Department of Public Health. The goal of the program is to, “Eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke; promote tobacco cessation; prevent youth initiation of tobacco use; and identify and eliminate tobacco-related disparities in specific populations.”
AppHealthCare in Watauga, Allegheny and Wilkes Counties is a part of the CATCH My Breath program that teaches students how to avoid and quit cigarette use and vaping. It is a program that is free to schools. Schools can find vape prevention tools and coordination kits at www.catch.org.
For older vaping and tobacco users wanting to free themselves of nicotine addiction, AppHealthCare has more than 25 trained tobacco treatment specialists in Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Alleghany and Wilkes Counties. These specialists can assist with treatment in conjunction with QuitlineNC’s free and confidential tobacco treatment program.
The QuitlineNC organization also has an online interactive treatment program and can provide a two-week starter kit of nicotine patches for Medicaid and Medicare patients, and eight weeks worth of nicotine patches for uninsured residents.
You can contact the organization here www.quitlinenc.com/ or by calling the official North Carolina Quitline at (800) 784-8669. Locally, you can contact AppHealthCare at www.apphealthcare.com or (828) 264-4995 for the Watauga Health Center and 336-246-9449 for the Ashe County Health Center.
Other resources include the NC HealthSmart Health Coaches Support Line at (800) 817-7044, the American Lung Association at 800-LUNG-USA, the American Cancer Society’s 24/7 line at (800) ACS-2345, the Quitline For Pregnant Smokers at (866) 66START and the National Cancer Institute at (800) 4CANCER.