Is your 2024 resolution to quit smoking or vaping?
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease here in New York. So, perhaps some of you are starting off 2024 with a resolution to try and quit.
Jamie McDonald has made New Year’s resolutions in the past. “I did but I didn’t keep them,” he says. This year though, he’s already off to a good start. “I’m going to stop vaping and I actually started it four weeks ago and I’m four weeks in of no vaping, so far I’m doing good,” he tells News10NBC.
The Wilmot Cancer Institute is hoping more people will follow McDonald’s lead as we head into the new year. If you need some inspiration, “we have been able to find that electronic cigarettes are linked to heart diseases and to lung diseases and we have been able to do some toxicology analysis on what’s in the e-liquids and we have found that they have some substances for example, carcinogens, substances that can further develop cancer,” explains Dr. Francisco Cartujano.
For adults who’ve switched to vaping from smoking traditional cigarettes hoping for a step-down approach, “there is this debate on whether electronic cigarettes can help people quit traditional cigarettes, there’s not enough evidence to say that’s true,” Dr. Cartujano says.
The most recent youth survey done in Monroe County shows one in four middle and high school students report having used an e-cigarette or vape product. That’s why Wilmot offers two different programs to try and help. There’s an option for text message support and counseling or, group zoom sessions. Dr. Cartujano says research shows higher success rates for those who have the support of a counselor.
Jennifer Lewke (News10NBC) – “When people make their way to you, are you finding more parents are coming in, saying, ‘I need to get my kid to stop vaping’ or is it parents who are vaping and it’s like ‘I need to stop?’ What kind of folks are you seeing who are willing to take the help and try to quit?”
Dr. Cartujano – “That’s an excellent question. So, we get emails from a lot of people. We get emails from schools saying lots of my students are using electronic cigarettes, what can we do? We also hear sometimes from parents or caregivers that their adolescents are using e-cigs and they need help and we also hear from adolescents themselves wanting to quit.”
For most people, it takes multiple attempts to try and quit but each attempt brings you a little closer to reaching the goal and for McDonald, it’s not just about him. “I’m stopping for my kids so anytime I have a thought of wanting to vape, I just think of my promise to my kids,” he says.