CATCH My Breath NYC: Empowering Educators, Students, and Parents to Prevent Youth Vaping
Special Projects Fund
December 12, 2022
Outside New York State
Vaping, especially among youth, is an increasing public health concern.
A single pre-filled pod for an e-cigarette contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, along with other harmful additives. These substances stunt adolescent brain development, hinder learning, and can increase risks of developing chronic diseases. A 2019 NYHealth analysis showed that more than half of New York State’s high school seniors have tried vaping, following staggering increases over the previous five years. The State’s youth cigarette smoking rates reached an all-time low in 2020, but the emergence of a new generation of vape smokers puts these gains at risk. CATCH My Breath (CMB) is a nationally recognized, evidence-based vaping prevention program for students in 5th–12th grades that has been shown to increase students’ knowledge about the harms of e-cigarettes and to prevent vaping initiation among participants by almost half. In 2022, NYHealth awarded CATCH Global Foundation a grant to expand the program across New York City’s middle and high schools to reduce youth vaping rates.
Under this grant, CATCH will focus on five key activities: (1) raising awareness, promoting training opportunities, and recruiting schools for participation in CMB; (2) training administrators and teachers to weave the CMB curriculum into existing classroom lesson plans and physical education activities; (3) facilitating outreach to parents; (4) engaging students in service-learning projects about vaping; and (5) hosting train-the-trainer sessions that will enable participants to facilitate CMB trainings for other educators. It will host in-person and virtual Train-the-Trainer Academies. Participants will be certified to facilitate CMB trainings for educators and will be required to complete supplemental training in subsequent years. CATCH will reach 90 educators. CATCH will also partner with national and local organizations to broaden its reach and maximize youth and parent engagement.