CATCH My Breath visits with Public Health Advocates and State Representative in Idaho Falls for First-Ever Student Led Vaping Prevention ClassesTuesday November 28, 2023
Idaho Falls, ID - Between Tuesday, November 7th and Thursday November 9th, representatives from CATCH My Breath, a Global Foundation dedicated towards whole child wellness, visited with Eastern Idaho Public Health and Representative Marco Erikson to interact with local schools that have implemented their vaping prevention curriculum.
With public health representatives, the CATCH program, including Marcella Bianco, Director of Government Partnerships, visited Idaho Falls, Bonneville, and Sugar-Salem School Districts and made their presence known to youth that they are not alone. Through an engaging class dialogue, students had their voices heard about their perceptions and experiences regarding the youth vaping epidemic, and how they are uniting to empower one another and their peers to live vape-free.
Through the CATCH My Breath program, upper-level students can teach curriculum to lower-level students, creating an environment where trust and higher learning occur. These school districts in Idaho Falls that were visited are the first to fully implement this teaching model across the nation.
When asked about their visits with the schools, Heather Hansen, Health Education Specialist at Eastern Idaho Public Health noted “It’s been amazing to see them feel how powerful they are. When they have this great information that they trust, and they’re able to share with these kids and be able to see these kids listening to and believing them, they know they’re going to have an opportunity to change lives.”
More than 2.5 million middle and high school youth across the U.S. are using e-cigarettes, leaving a staggering 1 in 4 youth in the state of Idaho who are users of this addictive behavior that is impacting their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. These statistics are not being ignored by public health education specialists across Idaho’s seven health districts who are on a mission to educate youth about living vape-free through CATCH My Breath, a youth vaping prevention program offered by CATCH Global Foundation.
To date across the state of Idaho, 80 school sites are implementing CATCH My Breath reaching an estimated 10,000 students, and 26 public health educators have been certified as CATCH My Breath Community Trainers to train 185 educators in executing the curriculum as a way to reach and save more lives.
Marcella Bianco, Director of Government Partnerships for CATCH Global Foundation noted, “Youth vaping continues to be a public health crisis. Government, public health district, school, and community leaders across Idaho are banding together to help prevent youth from a lifelong addiction to nicotine by implementing CATCH My Breath. We’re proud to be a partner in their important efforts.”