CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Recently, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health and West Virginia Department of Education have partnered up to start an anti-vaping campaign that Governor Jim Justice decreed throughout the Mountain State for the next three years.
The campaign, Don’t Let Vaping Cloud It will offer evidence showing that vaping can be harmful, which will offer the vaping prevention program called CATCH My Breath.
“Vaping is a huge problem all over the country, and now we’re setting out to actively educate our students about the extreme dangers associated with e-cigarettes. Vaping is very harmful for all users, but especially kids, making it a massive issue for our schools. Our goal is to educate our students early and prevent them from falling into this dangerous vaping trap. This proactive approach will move the needle and I’m very proud to see it come to fruition,” Governor Justice said.
“The use of e-cigarettes is a significant issue facing West Virginia youth, with approximately half of all high school students reporting using e-cigarettes in 2021. This curriculum has been shown to effectively increase knowledge of the dangers of e-cigarettes and reduce nicotine vaping and overall tobacco use among students,” said Dr. Matthew Christiansen, State Health Officer and Commissioner for DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health.
The focus is more based on middle school students because vape usage typically starts at 14 years old.
“E-cigarette use in West Virginia schools can have profound impacts on the future of young people. Together with our partners, including school teachers and counselors, we aim to decrease vaping among our students, and empower them to make informed decisions so they can lead healthier lives,” said State Superintendent of Schools Michele L. Blatt.
Teachers, counselors, and other school staff who decide to participate in this program will be offered free classes to effectively be able to teach students on vape prevention.
To learn more about the CATCH My Breath program, visit https://catch.org/program/vaping-prevention/.