Prevention and Programs
CATCH My Breath is a best practices youth e-cigarette prevention program. The program provides up-to-date information to teachers, parents, and health professionals to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about the use of e-cigarettes. CATCH My Breath utilizes a peer led teaching approach and meets national and state health education standards.
The Tobacco Prevention Toolkit is a theory- based and evidence-informed educational resource created by educators and researchers and aimed at preventing middle and high school students’ use of cigarettes, cigars/ cigarillos, chew, hookah, and e-cigarettes. This toolkit contains a set of modules focused on e-cigarettes and vape products, messages on nicotine addiction, resources related to positive youth development, and information about school tobacco policies and tobacco control efforts.
The Tobacco Prevention Toolkit also offers four youth tobacco prevention curriculum here.
To educate America’s students about the health dangers of e-cigarette use and reverse the pervasive youth vaping epidemic, Truth Initiative and Kaiser Permanente in collaboration with the American Heart Association, have launched a national youth vaping prevention curriculum called Vaping: Know the Truth. This free digital learning experience is being developed as part of Truth Initiative’s nationally recognized truth campaign and will be made available to schools by leading social impact education innovator, EVERFI.
Alternative to Suspension
Student tobacco use, including vaping, is best addressed through a comprehensive approach including policy, education, incorporation of information into the curriculum, making treatment resources available, and youth empowerment and engagement. Positive and restorative practices is an opportunity for schools to create a positive school climate, promote health equity, support students with the root of the issue, and safeguard each student’s future.
A resource from the Tobacco Prevention Toolkit, Healthy Futures is a suggested 1-session curriculum that educators can use over a 50-minute period. Before using the curriculum, we suggest that educators become familiar with the material.
Educators should go through each unit in the Presenter Guide and download the PowerPoint for class presentation. Educators should also download the accompanying assessment and in-class activities. Speakers' notes are embedded in the PowerPoint. Activities are meant to be printed for students before class begins.
From the Public Health Law Center, this publication provides sample language and ideas for evidence-based solutions and information as to why these alternative measures may be more effective than suspension and expulsion at addressing student tobacco use and nicotine addiction as part of a school’s Commercial Tobacco-Free Policy.
Intervention for Nicotine Dependence: Education, Prevention, Tobacco and Health (INDEPTH) is a new, convenient alternative to suspension or citation that helps schools and communities address the teen vaping problem in a more supportive way. Instead of solely focusing on punitive measures, INDEPTH is an interactive program that teaches students about nicotine dependence, establishing healthy alternatives and how to kick the unhealthy addiction that got them in trouble in the first place.
Developed by the American Lung Association in partnership with the Prevention Research Center of West Virginia University, this new free education program is available for any school or community to establish to help our teens make healthier choices.
Model Policy and Enforcement
- possession or use of tobacco products in any form; such as, cigar, cigarette, pipe, chewing tobacco, electronic nicotine delivery devices/electronic cigarettes, etc.; is prohibited
- the adopted policy is effective 24 hours a day
- school buildings are tobacco free
- school grounds are tobacco free
- school vehicles are tobacco free
- all students are subject to the policy’s regulations
- all staff are subject to the policy’s regulations
- all parents and visitors are subject to the policy’s regulations
Review your school's tobacco-free policy:
Vape Detectors are NOT Recommended for Use in Schools
A vape detector is a device that looks like a smoke detector. These devices are usually placed where vaping is not permitted. Vape detectors sound an alarm when chemicals are present in the air, such as the aerosol that is produced by vaping devices.
- There is no evidence that supports vape detectors will reduce or deter tobacco use.
- Vape detectors do not help with youth tobacco cessation.
- Vape detectors contribute to a negative school climate and add to punitive measures for addressing tobacco use.
- Root causes of tobacco use among youth are not being addressed with vape detectors. There are many disadvantages and negative impacts of punitive measures. It is important to offer evidence-based prevention programs and cessation tools to all youth as an alternative to the use of vape detectors
References: UpRISE Youth Tobacco Control Movement & RMC Health