E-cigarette diagram

How do I quit?

  • Talk to someone you trust.  Talk to:
    • Kristen Strelis, our District-wide Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialist. (Ms. Strelis can see students during office hours on Wednesdays from 8:30a.m.–11:00a.m. by appointment or students can see her without an appointment on Wednesdays from 11:00a.m.–12:30p.m.)
    • Students at K-12 Schools also talk to their School Guidance Counselor.
    • Somerville High School students can also speak confidentially with a High School Counselor, High School Mental Health professional, or School Nurse about concerns.
  • Talk to someone at The National Drug Helpline. They offer 24/7 help to those struggling with addiction. http://drughelpline.org/ or call 1-844-289-0879
  • Get started with a phone app. Smoke-free Apps is a platform that provides 24/7 support and information via a phone app. The QuitGuide is a free app that helps you understand your smoking patterns. https://smokefree.gov/tools-tips/apps
  • Connect with other teens. Teen and Youth addiction recovery program, SMART Recovery provides tools and resources. https://www.smartrecovery.org/teens/ 


Learn the Basics about Vaping and e-cigarettes

  • Watch the 2-minute video Vaping: The New Look of Nicotine Addiction from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health about vaping and the tobacco industry.
  • Vaping is done through e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are battery-powered smoking devices. They have cartridges filled with a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals. The liquid is heated into a vapor, which the person inhales. That's why using e-cigarettes is called "vaping."
  • The cartridges filled with liquid are called pods. Pods contain nicotine and are put into the top of a juul or other e-cigarette for smoking. Each e-cigarette pod contains 5% nicotine, which is equivalent to 20 cigarettes.
  • Many e-cigarette pods are manufactured in fruity flavors to appeal to young people. Consequently, it is illegal to sell flavored e-cigarette pods in Massachusetts.
  • According to focus groups at Somerville High School, vaping tends to happen with friends and often happens in bathrooms.​

1 Vape Pod = 20 Cigarettes


What are the health effects of vaping?

  • E-cigarettes containing tobacco contain nicotine. We know that nicotine can cause cancer and disrupt brain development.
  • Recently, e-cigarettes have been linked to thousands of cases of serious lung illnesses and even deaths across the United States. While we don't know exactly why e-cigarettes are causing these illness and deaths, e-cigarette pods often contain harmful chemicals like antifreeze and nitrosamines, which have been linked to lung cancer. Even breathing secondhand smoke from e-cigartettes can be harmful for the lungs.
  • Because e-cigarettes contain nicotine, there are worries that vaping can be addictive for both youth and adults. Nicotine use can lead to issues with impulse control and mood.
  • In some cases, e-cigarette devices have exploded and caused burns and fires.
  • Some people are are also now smoking/vaping marijuana, herbs, waxes and oils, which can lead to further issues for brain development in young people.
  • E-cigarettes have been marketed as a safe way to stop smoking traditional cigarettes; however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved e-cigarettes for this purpose because the long-term health effects to users and bystanders are still unknown. This means there are no standard regulations determining which chemical compounds can be put into an e-cigarette, so consumers may have no idea what they are inhaling into their bodies!

Vaping chemicals poster


E-Cigarettes and Advertising

  • E-cigarette advertising and marketing are not regulated like other tobacco products.
  • E-cigarette companies are allowed to advertise on television and use celebrity endorsements and cartoons to seem appealing to younger generations.
  • Big Tobacco has been targeting younger generations by creating colorful flavors. Juul Labs recently faced a trial for its campaigns that included young models and flavor names that were enticing.
  • E-cigarettes have been marketed through social media accounts directly to teens and young people. Many social media "influencers" have promoted e-cigarettes through their posts.


Read up on Vaping


Share the Knowledge

How can Somerville Students help each other?

  • Get informed by watching the Somerville Cares About Prevention (SCAP): Anti-Vaping Public Service Announcement developed by Somerville Youth with staff from the Health and Human Services Department.
  • Join the Somerville Positive Forces (SPF) chapter of the 84.org, a way for students to organize together to stop vaping and to promote awareness and education.
  • Help student-members of Somerville Positive Forces organize the annual Kick Butts Day. It is a national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up, and seize control against Big Tobacco. 
  • Connect or get more information about joining Somerville Positive Forces by contacting Lovelee Heller-Bottari at (617) 625-6600, ext 4322. 

Anti-vaping information


Resources for the classroom

Tobacco Prevention Toolkit from Stanford Medicine: Detailed resources with facts and science about why e-cigarettes are harmful. It contains powerpoints, kahoots, and take home assignments to share. Science educators may want to look at lesson 3 and language arts teachers may want to check out lesson 6, which discusses Juul Marketing Strategies.

CATCH My Breath Youth  E-cigarette Prevention Program Find resources and comprehensive lesson plans to educate students about the hazards of e-cigarette usage. 

smokeSCREEN  A game for students.