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UMass Medical School training school nurses to help teens quit vaping

New resources available for health care providers, educators, youth and parents

The UMass Medical School Center for Tobacco Treatment Research and Training is rolling out a new statewide training program for school nurses to learn how to help teens quit vaping. According to the Massachusetts Youth Health Survey, 41 percent of Massachusetts high school students report having tried vaping, and one in five are currently vaping.

“We hope that by using both in-person and digitally based strategies, teens will begin to recognize the signs and symptoms of nicotine dependence, recognize the tactics of the industry by which they’ve been targeted, and get the help they need to wean themselves off these products,” said Tina Grosowsky, instructor in psychiatry and coordinator for the Central Massachusetts Tobacco Free Community Partnership, a program of the Department of Psychiatry at UMMS.

Adapted from the center’s evidence-based training program to teach school nurses how to help teens quit smoking cigarettes, the “Calling it Quits: Vaping” program integrates face-to-face and counseling strategies with digital technology tools, including quitting apps and texting programs. The training will familiarize nurses with many new vaping-focused resources now available.

Grosowsky worked with the tobacco training center to develop the program.

“We realize it’s a very difficult task to reach youth and help them understand how to quit,” said Grosowsky. “Both trusted adults and digital platforms are where they get information they care about.”

Information about vaping cessation resources for Massachusetts parents, communities and schools is available at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website

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