A note on our tobacco and vaping policy
Adventure WV, January 2023
Tobacco use is not permitted on any program; this includes ecigs/vaping. Leaders will additionally continue to be aware and enforce the new federal law prohibiting sale of tobacco products under the age of 21. Participants that may struggle to abstain for the duration of a program may work with a professional staff member prior to the program to develop a management plan.
This plan should be discussed in advance, include referral to tobacco cessation resources, and utilize nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) (i.e. patch) instead of tobacco/vape products.
When NRT is not an option, only in very unique cases may tobacco be used and only for those who work with a professional staff member ahead of time, and within very strictly managed parameters.
Why we have this policy
Tobacco use has been linked to serious health problems and is highly addictive. Even though the facts around these dangers are widely known (nicotine is highly addictive and tobacco is linked with cancers of the mouth, throat, lungs, and other organs), more than 400,000 people in the US die every year from smoking related complications. Even vaping, initially considered a safer alternative, has been associated with serious lung injury. As of December 10, 2019, the CDC reported 2,409 hospitalizations and 52 deaths due to lung injury related to vaping.
Adventure WV works hard to help students develop positive life-long habits. While tobacco use might be socially accepted in certain communities, especially e-cigs and vaping, our program is dedicated to promoting healthy minds, healthy relationships, and healthy bodies.
How you can prepare yourselfIf our requirement to be tobacco-free during your Adventure WV Program is concerning for you, we encourage you to take steps to prepare ahead of time. Adventure WV and WVU recognizes that stopping or quitting tobacco use can be a significant personal challenge. A few suggestions from us:
- If you have questions or concerns and would like to talk it over with us, don’t hesitate to do so. Call our office at (304) 293-1369.
- Many options exist for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), medications available from a doctor, and other behavioral support therapies.
- If you’re thinking of quitting for just the program (or for good), we recommend utilizing resources to develop a plan for managing your quitting process (here is a good starting place). A week-long trip is a significant chunk of time, and frequent users of tobacco and nicotine products may experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms that include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, issues with sleep, mood changes, etc. These are all things that will greatly impact your (and others around you) ability to enjoy your program and get the most out of the experiences- a good management plan may help avoid some of these undesirable side-effects. WVU has put together a site detailing free or reduced-cost smoking-cessation programs here.
Thank you in advance for collaborating with us to promote healthy and safe environments for all students on Adventure WV programs- once again, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to discuss any questions you might have as your prepare for your Adventure WV program.
The Adventure WV First-Year Trips Team