EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU)— The reason the FDA wants Juul labs products banned is for what it called a lack of data and evidence to assess potential health risks.
Eyewitness News spoke with a college student about his Juuling habit, and the creator of a support program that helped that student quit.
“It was convenient and simple and among that was the flavor that really got me drawn to it as well as my friends,” said Parker Kerns.
Belmont University senior Parker Kerns began his Juuling vaping habit several years ago in high school. While he counted on ease of use for the Juul e-cigarette brand, he wasn’t counting on any adverse effects from vaping nicotine.
“At what point then, Parker, did you realize that vaping was a problem for you?” Hiller asked.
“I would say about 2 to 3 months into my vaping I really noticed a spike in panic attacks, brain fog, you know, anxiety, all of these things that kind of overwhelmed and build up.” Kerns told Hiller.
Kerns was among more than 2 million U.S. teens, or roughly 1 in 5 high schoolers, who say they use e-cigarettes.
“Because of the addiction I had already built up, it was very difficult for me to quit but I did try multiple times,” Kerns explained.
What finally worked? A free and anonymous text messaging program called “This Is Quitting” from the non-profit tobacco control organization “Truth Initiative.”
“Truth sending out text messages that would give you facts about how it affects your mental health as well as, you know, physical activities and ways to keep out of when you have cravings and withdrawals from it, just ways to distract yourself and, you know, keep your mind at peace and realize that what you’re doing is the right thing,” Kerns told Eyewitness News.
“And it’s something that’s always on you, right? You always have your phone on you,” said Megan Jacobs.
Megan Jacobs, Truth Initiative’s Vice President of Product for the Innovations Center, created “This is Quitting” billed as a texting platform that’s part information, motivation and inspiration.
“We bring in messages from other young people who have gone through the quitting experience and can speak to that experience. It makes them feel less alone. It makes them realize that they’re not the only one doing this,” Jacobs explained.
“It was really that program and the message that they put out that really helped me stop,” said Kerns.
“This is quitting” is a program for young people ages 13 to 24.
It’s credited with helping nearly a half-million young quit vaping nicotine.