The Oregon Health Authority has kicked off a series of media campaigns to educate people about the dangers of marijuana and tobacco vaping, help people quit, and encourage youth to avoid these products.
The campaigns began earlier this month and are being launched in three phases:
Smokefree Oregon tobacco and vaping cessation campaign, Dec. 3, 2019, to Feb. 16, 2020 — This campaign will reach adults and young adults who use tobacco and vaping products, including people of color, people with low incomes and other groups most affected by tobacco use. The campaign urges people who use tobacco — including cigarettes, e-cigarettes and all other products — to call the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line and get support to quit for good.
Stay True To You and Talk With Them/Habla con ellos prevention campaigns, Dec. 13, 2019, to April 30, 2020 — These campaigns expand the Stay True to You youth marijuana use prevention campaign and the Talk With Them/Habla con ellos campaign for parents and educators. The expanded campaigns educate youth, parents and educators on the health effects and consequences of using any vape product — both THC and nicotine. They also include resources for parents and educators who are concerned about how to help youth in their lives struggling with vaping addiction.
Smokefree Oregon tobacco and vaping prevention campaign, April to June 2020 — This campaign will feature new advertisements and resources to help local agencies and organizations prevent tobacco use and vaping. The campaign will focus on supporting counties, tribes and health equity partners in their work to counter tobacco and vaping industry influence on Oregon’s youth.
All the campaigns use a mix of media including website content, social media posts, digital and search engine advertisements, and billboards.
Creating a statewide prevention and education campaign aimed at discouraging the use of vaping products was among the actions Governor Kate Brown directed OHA to take in her Oct. 4 executive order to address the vaping public health crisis. The executive order also directed OHA to adopt rules that ban the sale of flavored vaping products, but the Oregon Court of Appeals issued a stay on those rules Oct. 17 that has kept them from taking effect.
“Addressing the vaping and tobacco use problem in Oregon requires a comprehensive approach. This includes OHA’s statewide media campaigns to let people know that the Oregon Quit Line offers evidence-based medicine and counseling to quit nicotine and vaping addiction,” said Dean Sidelinger, MD, MSEd, health officer and state epidemiologist, OHA Public Health Division.
“As we continue to investigate what’s causing the vaping-associated lung injuries that have sickened 20 people in Oregon and thousands across the country, we are taking these important steps to encourage people who do vape to quit and prevent others from even starting,” Sidelinger said. “It’s especially important to protect young people, who are particularly at risk of getting hooked on these products.”
In addition to these campaigns, OHA will continue to post the latest information about e-cigarette and vaping-associated lung injury, resources for the public and tools for health care providers and partner organizations on www.healthoregon.org/vaping.
OHA health experts are still urging people not to vape. Those who do vape and wish to quit can contact the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line to take advantage of free cessation resources, including eight weeks of nicotine replacement therapy such as patches or gum. The Quit Line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
English: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or http://www.quitnow.net/oregon.
Spanish: 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-35692) or http://www.quitnow.net/oregonsp.
For more information, visit www.healthoregon.org/vaping and click on “Digital media toolkit” for examples of materials used in the campaigns.