Vaping Prevention for Schools
In Snohomish County, about 8% of 10th grade students and 16% of 12th grade students reported current use of e-cigarettes in 2021. (Washington State Healthy Youth Survey). While these percentages have decreased since 2018, the use of these products among teens in our county remains high. In order to help both middle and high schools combat this teen epidemic of vaping, the Snohomish County Health Department has created a toolkit of resources to be used at all levels.
Review and strengthen current school policy on substance use, including tobacco and vaping.
- The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) released a discipline policy update in July of 2019 regarding substance use and possession. This policy update clarified OSPI’s move away from suspension and expulsion for substance related violations, except as a last resort, and encouraged schools to find other ways to help students meet behavior expectations. See the OSPI’s Discipline Policy for Substance Use and Possession.
- Some students may be smoking, vaping, or using other substances as a means to cope with other things going on in their lives, such as depression or suicide contemplation. See OSPI’s Red Flag For Supports brief to learn more.
- Many schools and school districts are in the process of updating their discipline policies regarding tobacco related violations. Please see the attached document for snapshot of what high schools and middle schools are doing in our county: Snohomish County School’s Vaping Policies (2019).
- All schools need to have clear signage indicating the prohibition of tobacco products. If your school needs more signs, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Request our What’s at Stake When You Vape poster for your school by emailing email@example.com. You may also download the poster, which is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Arabic.
- If your school or school district is interested in reviewing their substance use policies and learning more about effective alternatives to suspension for substance use, Cascadia Youth Mental Health is a great resource. School discipline policy and substance use prevention consulting is available at no cost for most Snohomish County schools and school districts. Contact us for more information.
Make sure all school staff (not just health teachers and discipline staff) are educated on vape devices – what they look like, their health impacts and risks, and what the school policy is regarding vaping devices. Visit this link to submit a request for a vape training presentation for school staff.
As a school administrator (school nurse, counselor, prevention/intervention specialist, or other staff member), educating parents and enlisting their participation in preventing vaping and supporting students is critical. Many adults have little knowledge about vape devices, what’s in them, or why they might be dangerous to their teen. Visit this link to submit a request for a vape training presentation for a parent night or community event.
- Youth Vaping Education Request Form: Please fill out this form if you would like to request classroom-based vaping prevention presentations for students. For in-person sessions, schools must be located in Snohomish County. Due to limited Health Department staff capacity, we ask that all requests be submitted with a minimum of four weeks' notice.
- The Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit (You and Me Together Vape Free) is a 6-lesson theory-based and evidence-informed curriculum created by the Stanford REACH Lab designed for elementary, middle, and high schools (free).
- Catch My Breath is an evidence based vaping prevention program for grades 5-12 that includes peer-led and parent resources (free).
- INDEPTH is an interactive alternative to school suspension program that teaches about nicotine dependence, establishing healthy alternatives (free).
- OUR Healthy Futures is another program within the Stanford Prevention Toolkit that can be used as an alternative to school suspension. It uses principals of motivational interviewing and touches of issues surrounding students’ use of vapes (free)
- Vape Free Schools Initiative includes a toolkit of resources for supporting students affected by e-cigarettes, offering clear guidance, education and cessation.
- Vaping Cessation Resources for Students: