Truth Initiative and Kaiser Permanente Join Forces with EVERFI from Blackbaud to Teach Students About the Dangers of Vaping Cannabis
New education lessons will be part of Vaping: Know the truth, a digital tobacco prevention & cessation curriculum, which has enrolled more than one million students in less than three years
Truth Initiative, the organization behind truth®, the nationally recognized, proven-effective youth and young adult tobacco and opioid prevention public education campaigns, and Kaiser Permanente have teamed up again with EVERFI® from Blackbaud®, the leader in powering social impact through education, to bring teachers and students two new lessons to specifically address the growing problem of cannabis-filled vapes. The new lessons, included in the popular Vaping: Know the truth tobacco prevention and cessation course, provide teachers with a trusted educational resource at a time when many of today’s teens are directly combining tobacco and cannabis use. The curriculum is used in schools across the United States and has enrolled more than one million students in less than three years.
Among youth aged 12-17, co-use of cannabis and tobacco is more prevalent than using either substance on its own. Additionally, research shows that young people who use e-cigarettes are over three times more likely to use cannabis than those who do not. This data is troubling as research has consistently found that cannabis can have lasting impacts on the adolescent brain; specifically, exposure to THC during adolescence can impact structural, molecular, and functional alterations of brain circuits, especially in areas involving cognition and behavior.
The new cannabis-focused lessons equip students with knowledge regarding cannabis in vaping products, including short- and long-term health effects, consequences, and risks. The lessons describe reasons why teens and young adults may use cannabis or the co-use of nicotine and cannabis, help students make better choices to take care of themselves, and offer resources on quitting if they already vape. The lessons are aligned with the National Health Education Standards (NHES).
“Youth e-cigarette use remains a serious public health threat with more than two million middle and high school students vaping nicotine in 2023, according to the latest CDC data. At the same time, the use of cannabis vapes among young people has increased significantly in recent years,” said Kathy Crosby, CEO and president of Truth Initiative. “It’s imperative we reach students where they are to give them the facts on the dangers of cannabis and nicotine use, the risk of addiction and the resources they need to live healthy lives.”
Launched in late 2020, Vaping: Know the truth is a national youth vaping prevention course designed to educate students about the dangers of vaping nicotine, cannabis, and co-use. In addition to encouraging students to live vape-free lives, the course offers resources to help young people who are currently using e-cigarettes to quit through Truth Initiative's first-of-its-kind text messaging quit vaping program, This is Quitting.
“The tremendous success of the Vaping: Know the truth curriculum and its widespread use by teachers around the county is a testament to not just the quality of the program but the need for this education,” said Ray Martinez, president and co-founder of EVERFI from Blackbaud. “Educators are on the frontline trying to reach and teach kids about the health risks of vaping and have seen first-hand the way that cannabis is quietly being added to vapes. The addition of these lessons to an already popular resource will provide educators with more support as they address the continued problem of youth vaping.”
Vaping: Know the truth and the new cannabis lessons are currently available to schools nationwide at no cost. The development of the new cannabis-focused lessons marks the third collaboration between EVERFI and Truth Initiative, following their work on Vaping: Know the truth and Prescription Drug Safety: Know the truth, which educates on the dangers of prescription drug misuse and fentanyl safety.
For more information or to sign up for the Vaping: Know the truth course visit: https://everfi.com/courses/k-12/vaping-programs-for-high-school-students/
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