News Flash

Board of Health

Posted on: October 2, 2019

Guidance on Vaping and Tobacco Cessation Programs

Last week, the Governor declared a public health emergency in response to the outbreak of severe lung disease associated with e-cigarettes and vaping products  and the epidemic of e-cigarette use among youth. With the approval of Governor Baker, Commissioner Bharel of DPH issued an Order to pause all sales of e-cigarette and vaping products for four months. Learn more at: www.mass.gov/vapingemergency.

Now is an important time to promote Massachusetts quit vaping/tobacco resources and recognize nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

MassHealth has eliminated payment on products that help people quit smoking, learn more about these changes HERE.

Youth Quit Vaping/Tobacco Resources

This is Quitting powered by truth® is a free and confidential texting program for young people who vape. Young people can text “VapeFreeMass” to 88709 to get started. In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Parents and other adults can also text “QUIT” to 202-899-7550 to sign up to receive text messages designed specifically for parents of vapers.

  • My Life, My Quit has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Young people can call or text "Start My Quit" to 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help, or: Visit www.mylifemyquit.com to sign up online.
  • Visit www.teen.smokefree.gov for tools and tips.
  • Encourage young people to ask their school nurse or counselor, athletic coach, doctor, parent or other trusted adult for help.
  • For more information, young people can visit www.mass.gov/vaping
  • More information for parents/adults is available at www.GetOutraged.org

Adult Quit Vaping/Tobacco Resources

  • You are three times as likely to quit for good with the combination of FDA approved quit smoking medication and counseling.
  • Call the Massachusetts Smokers' Helpline 1-800-QUIT-NOW (7 days per week/24 hours per day, holiday hours may vary) to receive counseling online, by phone or through eChat and at least four weeks of free nicotine patches. www.makesmokinghistory.org/quit-now/
  • The nicotine patch, gum or lozenges, are available over the counter without a prescription. The prescription medications include Chantix, Zyban, inhaler, and spray.

Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Feeling irritable, restless, or jittery
  • Having headaches
  • Increased sweating
  • Feeling sad or down
  • Feeling anxious
  • Feeling tired or groggy
  • Having trouble thinking clearly or concentrating
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Feeling hungry
  • Having intense cravings for e-cigarettes/tobacco

Other Updates

  • Standing order for Dispensing Nicotine Replacement Therapy Products
    • Commissioner Bharel also issued an order expanding access to federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, over the-counter nicotine replacement therapy products including gum, lozenges and patches, through a statewide Standing Order that facilitates insurance coverage for these products.
    • The Standing Order authorizes licensed pharmacists to dispense medically appropriate nicotine replacement therapy products to a person 18 years or older with proper identification who requires the products in connection with smoking cessation or vaping cessation.
  • Yesterday legislation to ban the sale of all flavored tobacco products in MA was voted favorably out of committee and is in the House and Senate’s Ways and Means Committees.

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