Empowering youth to be vape free.
CATCH My Breath’s peer-led teaching approach empowers students with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions about e-cigarettes and resist social pressures to vape. Informed by tobacco youth prevention researchers and practitioners, years of real world implementation, and a youth advisory board, it is the only school-based vaping prevention program proven to reduce the likelihood of vaping among youth.
Note: If you have technical issues playing the parent/community videos in this section, try our YouTube playlist.
Program Information for Parents
Introduction Letter to Parents
English version / Spanish version This letter is intended for parents whose children are going to participate in the CATCH My Breath program. (Teachers: This is the same letter mentioned in Session 0.)
Parent Information Handout
This handout covers general program information and answers questions like “What will students learn?” and “Why is E-cigarette education needed?” If you would like more information about the program or to bring the program to your child’s school, please email [email protected].
Parent Toolkit Grades 5-12
Parent Toolkit Videos
Video One: The Youth Vaping Epidemic
Youth vaping is on the rise and parents need to be equipped with e-cigarette knowledge. This video covers four facts about youth vaping and how your child might be impacted by the epidemic.
Video Two: Strategies to Support Your Child’s Healthy Decisions
Checking in with your child can help them make healthy decisions, including the decision to not use e-cigarettes. In this video, you will learn simple, yet effective ways to check in with your child and support healthy decisions.
Video Three: Could Your Child be Vaping?
E-cigarettes can sometimes be hard to spot, making your job as a parent more challenging. In this video, you will learn how to identify e-cigarette and vaping products. You will also learn of common signs of vaping and nicotine addiction.
Video Four: 4 Reasons to Talk to Your Child about E-Cigarettes Today
Talking with your child about smoking and vaping can be difficult, and some parents avoid the discussion altogether. In this video, you will learn the important reasons why you should talk with your child about vaping.
Video Five: How to Talk to Your Child about E-Cigarettes
Talking to your child about smoking and vaping doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In this video, you will learn four tips to effectively talk with your child about vaping.
Parent Toolkit Grades K-4
Parent Toolkit Grades K-4
It’s vital to start early when it comes to educating parents and caregivers about the dangers of vaping and the exposure that even elementary students have to vaping and misinformation about it. Our parent education resources for parents of younger children include an informational video, along with a fact sheet and parent-child activity, both of which can be shared digitally or printed and shared as handouts.
Parent / Community Presentations
Help fellow parents or community members stay informed about the youth vaping epidemic and prevention efforts by hosting an educational presentation. This presentation provides basic information about e-cigarettes & vaping products, the extent of the youth vaping epidemic, short- and long-term effects of vaping, and explains how to engage in your community, including how CATCH My Breath can help schools.
- Pre-recorded video presentation (below)
- Self-serve, downloadable presentation slides (includes slide-by-slide scripting in the notes section)
- Live webinar delivered by a CATCH My Breath staff member (available on a limited basis, please email [email protected] for information)
Parent / Community Presentation Video (English)
Parent / Community Presentation Video (Spanish)
E-Cigarette Background Information
What is an E-cigarette?
E-cigarettes are a type of electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) and their appearance can vary from resembling a conventional cigarette to a USB flash drive. They use a nicotine liquid often called e-liquid or e-juice, which is often sweet or candy flavored, to deliver nicotine to the body. While they were developed as a means to help smokers quit, they have rapidly become the new means of nicotine addiction, especially among young people. The following video explains e-cigarettes in detail.
What does an E-cigarette look like?
E-cigarettes can take on many different shapes and forms and they can vary in name. Today, E-cigarettes include brands such as JUUL, Blu,Vapor Fi, PHIX,Suorin Air, My Jet, and PULSE. Below you can see examples of (1) disposable e-cigarettes, (2) reusable “tanks” or “mods” (3) Suorin drops, (4) and JUULs. Although there are a lot of e-cigarette options available, JUUL is currently the most popular e-cigarette in the United States with roughly 75% of the market share.
How common is E-cigarette use?
As of 2020, 19.6% of high school students and 4.7% of middle school students across the U.S. have used E-cigarettes in the past 30 days. This data points to the fact that large numbers of American children will become addicted to nicotine and are at risk for becoming a regular tobacco user.
How harmful are e-cigarettes?
- E-cigarettes are a source of extremely high doses of ultrafine particles in the human respiratory system. These particles have been linked to cardiovascular disease.
- Nicotine is much more addictive to the immature teen brain compared to the developed adult brain.
- Even a little nicotine can lead to ADHD-like symptoms and compulsive behavior, which can contribute to classroom behavior problems.
- There is some evidence that nicotine primes the brain for other drug addictions.
- Nicotine is extremely harmful to the developing fetus. There is no known safe level of nicotine exposure in utero.
- Drinking nicotine in E-juice is harmful and possibly fatal for babies and toddlers.
- Nicotine overdose symptoms include rapid heart rate, nausea, elevated blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, convulsion, and potentially seizure and death.
- The process of heating the nicotine solution produces aldehyde, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, and acrolein, which are known carcinogens.
- The glycerin/propylene glycol and 8,000+ flavoring chemicals in e-cigarettes have only been approved for ingestion (eating). It is not recommended by the manufacturers that these chemicals be inhaled, as they have not been widely tested for their potential sensitizing, toxic, or irritating characteristics.
- Many E-liquids are custom-mixed by individuals at home, increasing the potential for additional health risks to E-cigarette users. Even commercial E-liquids are produced with unknown manufacturing procedures, packaging materials, and purity standards.
This 4-minute video follows two friends, Mari and Jake before school as they discuss a class project and Jake’s new obsession with his vape.
These resources give more detailed information about e-cigarettes, the youth vaping epidemic, and other related topics.
- CDC: E-cigarette, or Vaping Product Visual Dictionary
- FDA Raises Federal Minimum Age of Sale of Tobacco Products to 21
- FDA: Limited Flavor Ban Enforcement Policy
- CDC: E-cigarettes and Youth: What Parents Need to Know
- Surgeon General: The Call to Action on E-cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults
- American Lung Association: E-cigarettes, “Vapes”, and JUULs: What Parents Should Know
- American Cancer Society: Questions and Answers about E-cigarettes for Parents
- American Cancer Society: What You Need to Know about E-cigarettes: For Middle and High School Students
- Science News for Students: Concerns Explode Over New Health Risks of Vaping
- Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids: Don’t Trust JUUL
- Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids: Big Tobacco is Back
- Public Health Law Center: U.S.
E-Cigarette Regulations – 50 State Review
- Truth Initiative: Behind the explosive growth of JUUL
- Truth Initiative: Vaping Lingo Dictionary: A guide to popular terms and devices
- UThealth: Quick Facts About JUUL, The High Nicotine Product Hiding In Plain Sight
- Fox 32 Chicago: Vape pen explodes, shattering teenager’s jaw and knocking out some teeth
CATCH My Breath is the only evidence-based youth nicotine vaping prevention program for grades 5-12 that has been proven to substantially reduce students’ likelihood of vaping. The vape education program’s effectiveness was published in a peer-reviewed journal and the program is listed in SAMHSA’s Evidence-Based Resource Guide Series.
Robust Program & Resources
Developed by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, the vape education program includes grade-level specific and health education standards-aligned classroom curriculum alongside a variety of engaging supplemental materials including STEM/Humanities/PE extensions, self-paced modules, and virtual field trips.
Training & Support
CATCH Global Foundation provides teacher and health educator trainings that help ensure facilitators are effective in the vape education program delivery. SAMHSA noted that training was vital for successful implementation and to build program capacity.