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10/20/21blog post

this program could help your teen quit smoking or vaping

Dayton Children's Hospital took a stand to become a tobacco free pediatric hospital in 1997, based on sufficient evidence that secondhand smoke causes new onset of asthma and asthma attacks.

Asthma is pediatric hospitals' number one reason for emergency department visits and hospitalization. These life threatening asthma attacks could be avoided if exposure to secondhand smoke is eliminated.

With the board of trustees' and senior leadership's support, a committee of physicians and respiratory therapists created the "Clear the Air Campaign." The initial objective was to implement a tobacco free policy, not allow cigarette smoking on campus, and encouraging smoking cessation among employees and families by offering adult smoking cessation programs.

In 2000, statistics revealed that more than 90% of adults start using tobacco products by the age of 18 and 34% of teens reported using tobacco within 30 days of taking a National Youth Tobacco Survey. This prompted our respiratory therapists to take ownership in providing youth prevention and cessation counseling programs.

These programs were possible through collaboration with Ohio and local health departments, community hospitals, health organizations, and schools forming coalitions through grant funding. The success of these programs was evident. By 2009, youth cigarette use was reduced to just under 20%. Unfortunately, the data showed e-cigarettes use was on the rise among youth.

Stop Tobacco and Nicotine Dependency - STAND cessation counseling program

Because of this increase in vaping, Dayton Children's Hospital's respiratory therapists continued to be an advocate in helping our youth by providing the Stop Tobacco and Nicotine Dependency - STAND cessation counseling program focusing on the dangers of vaping and encouraging them to quit.

We sat down with Belinda Huffman, manager of the STAND program to understand the importance of the program for tobacco and nicotine dependent teens.

why is the nicotine cessation program important for teens?

Intervention at an early age is important to prevent, or reduce, the likelihood of becoming dependent on the drug nicotine. Studies have shown youth would like to quit and often try on their own without success. Some of the barriers they face when quitting are peer pressure and stress management. Teens need guidance and support to quit. In the STAND program, we use counseling techniques, motivational enhancement, and goal setting to help reframe from using tobacco/nicotine.

how have e-cigarettes impacted this program and teens?

Many youth view e-cigarettes as being safer than cigarettes, therefore not necessary to quit. There is little research to support the long-term effect of e-cigarettes, but there is sufficient evidence that indicate some e-cigarettes can deliver more nicotine and cigarettes, and they consist of harmful chemicals. One known chemical, Acrolein, that causes irreversible lung damage referred to as "popcorn lung." The counselors continuously review the most recent statistics and research to be informative and have the facts that will encourage young people to quit using the tobacco/nicotine products, particularly e-cigarettes.

what are the eligibility requirements to enroll in the program?

Any youth under the age of 18 years of age willing to stop using tobacco are eligible and encouraged to enroll in the program. Even the youth not contemplating quitting can gain knowledge and encouragement to move into pre-contemplation, and even prepare to quit.

what is the goal of the program?

The goal of the program is for youth to:

  • Learn the facts
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of the dangers of using harmful tobacco/nicotine products
  • Participate in the activities
  • Engage as a group by sharing experiences that will lead to having the desire to follow the steps to be successful in quitting the use of tobacco/nicotine products

The teen STAND program at Dayton Children's consists of five 90-minute sessions, one session a week for five weeks. To learn more or to register for the program, click here.