The Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) program is designed to prevent youth tobacco use by providing students with the knowledge and skills that enable them to be tobacco free.
Due in part to the fervent collaborative efforts countywide to reduce tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke, a slight decline of Ventura County youth tobacco use was seen across all grade levels in the latest California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) results. Unfortunately, a sobering figure measured in the data was the comparison of traditional cigarette use versus electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes and e-hookahs.
According to a CDC study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research (2014), more than a quarter million U.S. middle and high school-age youth who reported never having smoked a cigarette used ENDS in 2013, a more than three-fold increase from 79,000 in 2011. The local CHKS results for Ventura County youth echoes this trend, with much higher use of ENDS than traditional cigarettes (see here) as well as much more tolerant attitudes towards ENDS use.
As noted by the Tobacco Education Research Oversight Committee (TEROC), the explosion of ENDS is threatening the progress California has made since 1988 and the proliferation of these new nicotine products "potentially threatens California's hard won successes by rendering California tobacco regulations obsolete and re-normalizing tobacco use" (TEROC Master Plan, January 2015).
The VCOE Comprehensive Health and Prevention Programs (CHPP) is committed to educating youth on the dangers of nicotine in both traditional cigarettes and ENDS. VCOE CHPP staff provides a variety of TUPE-related leadership, support and technical assistance services to school districts. These services include:
Sites that may provide assistance to school and district programs:
- School districts TUPE grant applications support and assistance.
- Capacity building for sustainable TUPE programs, activities and educational services.
- Biennial administration of the California Healthy Kids Survey and California School Climate Surveys.
- Collaborative programs with Ventura County Public Health, Ventura County Behavioral Health, and other agencies.
- Review of Science-Based tobacco prevention programs
- Training and technical assistance in select prevention programs and Research-Based activities.
- Certification of district compliance with tobacco-free workplace requirements.
Site visits to ensure that district programs are aligned with program requirements.
Monthly meetings to promote comprehensive and effective tobacco prevention programs.
Funding Source: California Department of Education TUPE Funding