Tobacco Prevention & Control
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States leading to high rates of cancer and heart disease, as well as more than 480,000 deaths each year.
New Hanover County Public Health is committed to making policy, system, and environmental level changes that make smoke-free the easy choice in our community.
Partnership with New Hanover County Schools
New Hanover County Public Health divisions of Health Promotion and School Health have been working in partnership with New Hanover County Schools Health and Physical Education as well as Student Support Services to address the youth vaping epidemic that has come with the evolution of e-cigarette and vaping devices.
Developed by Dr. Steven Kelder from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, CATCH My Breath is the only evidence-based youth vaping prevention curriculum, which means it has been proven effective at reducing the likelihood that young people will begin using vape and other electronic cigarette devices. After completing the program, 7 out of 8 students say they are less likely to use e-cigarettes. In fact, if every public school in the country implemented CATCH My Breath there would be 153,600 fewer 7th grade kids that would try e-cigarettes in a single year. The program is already adapted to meet national health education standards for grades 5-12, providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about the use of vaping devices, including JUUL and other disposable products.
As of fall 2022, secondary Health and Physical Education Instructors have began implementing this curriculum in their classroom setting to help reduce the likelihood that teens in New Hanover County will began using e-cigarette, vape, and other tobacco products.
Engaging students in punitive punishment after they have been found using an e-cigarette or vaping device on school property has shown little to no effectiveness at reducing the likelihood students continue using those tobacco products. Rather then suspend students who have been found using on campus, some secondary schools across New Hanover County have taken steps to educate students on the reality of their nicotine addiction, the harmful effects of tobacco use, and the resources available to help them quit. This process has been guided by Stanford Medicine's Tobacco Prevention Toolkit and MY Healthy Future Course.
Smoking and Vaping now limited in public places across New Hanover County
On Monday, November 16, 2020, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners voted to implement an ordinance mirroring a Health and Human Services Board rule prohibiting the use of combustible tobacco and e-cigarettes in New Hanover County, effective February 1, 2021. Click here to view the full ordinance here.
The process of becoming tobacco-free may take several attempts, as well as support from family and friends! The list of resources below provides a good place to start, but additional help from a physician or behavioral health provider may be necessary to achieve desired results.
Cessation Resources for Adults
A free, confidential cessation service available 24 hours a day/7 days a week for any North Carolina resident who needs help quitting commercial tobacco use. Quit Coaching is available in different forms, and services can be provided in more than 200 languages including Spanish.
Duke Health offers smoking cessation services by trained Tobacco Treatment Specialists to help patients who are ready to reduce or quit smoking. All treatment services are available in-person or by virtual visit through phone and video telehealth, and may be covered by insurance.
The UNC Department of Family Medicine offers treatment to people experiencing tobacco dependence across North Carolina. Trained Tobacco Treatment Specialists collaborate with patients to provide individualized plans for becoming tobacco free. Services are provided regardless of ability to pay.
This website provides support through resources designed specifically for adults, older adults, veterans, pregnant women, and people who speak Spanish. Resources include texting programs, quit plans, and smartphone apps.
Cessation Resources for Adolescents
Designed for teens ages 13-17 who are ready to quit using tobacco, this program is offered by the National Cancer Institute through a confidential texting line. After enrolling in the program, participants receive a daily text message to support them in their quitting process.
A free smartphone app that helps you quit smoking by understanding your triggers and creating your own Quit Kit with customized tips and materials, inspiration, and challenges.
A free, 5-week program that helps participants quit vaping through Instagram group DM's of 10-15 other teens who want to quit. Groups are led by a real guide who will share proven quit strategies and encourage members to provide support to each other.
A free, anonymous text messaging program by the Truth Initiative designed to help young people ages 13-24 quit vaping. The program incorporates tailored messages from other young people who have attempted to, or successfully quit, e-cigarettes, as well as evidence-based strategies to quit and stay quit.