Hundreds of thousands of teens are not only addicted to nicotine, but they’re using it as a coping mechanism for dealing with mental health challenges and the overwhelming stresses of post-pandemic life.
Without support and guidance, quitting vaping is an incredibly difficult journey, and we often hear in our research that most teens do not feel like a traditional quitline or quitting service is intended for them. Our quantitative and qualitative research demonstrate that teens perceive quitlines as too formal for their needs. Additionally, they worry about how they may be treated in their friend groups if they try to quit and are not successful.
Rescue Agency, Hopelab, and UCSF examined the quitting journey with these insights in mind and developed a virtual cessation support group for young people called Quit the Hit. Quit the Hit is designed as a vape-first, teen-first social cessation intervention hosted through moderator-led group DMs on Instagram and has helped over 2,000 teens and young adults in 8 different states on their path to quitting.
Krysten Isaac, Vice President, Group Management Director, Rescue Agency
Krysten serves as Vice President and Group Management Director at Rescue, overseeing multiple public health programs and teams to promote health equity and behavior change within youth prevention campaigns and behavioral health-driven initiatives across 15 different states. Within the past decade of work in behavior change, she has been instrumental to growing one of the largest youth vaping communications efforts in the country, Behind the Haze, which is now active in over a dozen states and has worked with major players like FDA Center for Tobacco Products, NIDA, American Lung Association, and more. Currently, she oversees Tobacco Control Programs at Rescue along with other campaigns that focus on youth marijuana and substance misuse, vaccination communications, and more.
Brionna Zimmerman, Account Supervisor, Rescue Agency
Brionna serves as an Account Supervisor at Rescue, overseeing youth-centered programs with an emphasis on mentorship, coaching and substance prevention and cessation. She began her work in this area as a Market Manager with Fresh Empire, focusing on at-risk youth in South Carolina, then expanded into Hustle & Strive as a Success Coach, focusing on at-risk youth in Virginia. Brionna is now the Group Facilitator for the Quit The Hit programs across 6 states, virtually supporting teens and young adults through their vape-quitting journey. Brionna is also a high school girls basketball coach, which gives her unique insight into the mentorship and development of teens and young adults.
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