Many schools are struggling with how to address the epidemic of vaping in their communities and in their school buildings. In 2018, approximately 20% of teens nationwide reported current use of electronic nicotine products, and school administrators recognize suspending 20% of high school students is not a realistic response.
Introducing My Life, My Quit as an alternative to school suspension is an option. No one wants to be forced to participate in a program to change their behavior, especially teens who get caught using tobacco products. Our coaches understand this and are specially trained to engage teens who have been referred for help by parents, educators, and the justice system and are required to complete a tobacco treatment program as an alternative to punishment.
My Life, My Quit is based on the established and evidence-based telephone coaching quitline model that has proven effective for adults. Our teen program was developed with teen feedback and has been tailored to meet the unique needs of teens. Coaches combine cognitive-behavioral techniques with motivational interviewing that has been proven effective for changing teen behaviors with drug, alcohol and tobacco use.
After completing five coaching sessions, we send a printed watermarked certificate directly to teens to reduce unauthorized duplication and to prove they completed the program. Because of regulations governing privacy of information, we only send the certificate to the teen who completes the program.
Behavior change is hard work and many people need help more than once for a new behavior to stick. Teens can re-enter the program as many times as needed and each time, they are eligible for five coaching sessions.
We recommend when My Life, My Quit is used as an alternative to suspension, the tobacco use infraction be removed from the student's permanent record. This helps build trust with teens and motivates them to engage in the program, knowing there is a reward for completion.