WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)— An expert is sharing tips on how to quit vaping as we head into the new year. That's because 5.3 million middle and high school students in the United States are vaping.
Vaping has harsh effects on the lungs and brain, and experts say the brain is still developing until age 25. So teens who vape are at an extreme risk of brain damage.
But how should teens approach quitting?
As of now, nicotine replacement therapies are not approved for people under 18 years old. That includes patches and gum.
Deborah Spoerner, Clinical Assistant Professor at Purdue University, explained that's why so many programs have been created to help teens.
Spoerner explained text messaging programs are proven to work in teens, or calling 1-800- QUITNOW; which gives teens their own personal coach. Smoke free.gov also has a service specially catered to teens.
Spoerner said teens are vaping the equivalent of up to three packs of cigarettes a day.
"They also tell me that the first thing they do when they wake up- they don't look at their phone- they vape," she said. "Or they vape in the middle of the night because they're so addicted."
She went on to say the more teens vape, the more resources they should use to quit.
"It usually takes multiple times of trying and multiple attempts before you're successful. So trying to have every tool that you can in your toolbox to help you quit is really important."
As of November, more than 2,200 people have suffered lung injuries from vaping and 47 people have died. Two of those deaths happened in Indiana.