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News Release -- Department of Law awards $17.4 million to schools and organizations to combat youth vaping crisis

Department of Law awards $17.4 million to schools and organizations to combat youth vaping crisis

CDE partnering to award $11.4 million to districts over the next three years

DENVER -- Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced today the distribution of $17.4 million to 42 schools, governmental entities, and non-profit organizations to combat the youth vaping crisis. These funds come from the attorney general’s multimillion-dollar settlement with e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs, Inc., and will support programs focused on education, prevention, and treatment of youth vaping, which may include mental and behavioral health services.

"By investing in these organizations, we are taking a critical step toward protecting our youth from the dangers of vaping. This funding will empower communities to educate our young people about the risks, implement preventive measures, and provide essential treatment for those affected," explained Weiser. “Together, we can create a healthier future for our children and help them not turn to vaping in the first place.”

The grants were awarded through two programs: one for non-profits and government entities, and another for local education providers in partnership with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE).

Six million dollars was made available to non-profits and government entities through the Colorado Department of Law’s Combating Youth Vaping in Colorado Grant. The department received 31 grant applications requesting more than $18 million, with awards going to the following 12 programs:

  • 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Diversion Lighthouse Program, $224,010 - This program will implement vaping education and prevention for youth in Mesa County, reaching underserved rural communities with evidence-based curriculums and community support.
  • Boys & Girls Club in Colorado, Inc., $855,979 - This initiative will prevent youth substance use through evidence-based programs, community engagement, and peer-led activities in 50 clubhouses across the state.
  • Broomfield Public Health and Environment, $202,184 - The team will offer nicotine replacement therapy and peer support to help young people quit vaping, with a focus on LGBTQ+ youth.
  • Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, $541,158 (pending) - Addressing youth vaping, the program will deliver trauma-informed counseling, nicotine replacement therapy, and community engagement with support from a Youth Advisory Board.
  • Mountain Youth, $500,000 - The project will address youth vaping in Eagle River Valley by providing prevention education, media campaigns, cessation programs, and youth-led initiatives.
  • Jefferson County Public Health, $400,000 - A collaborative project will engage youth action boards and community partners to deliver education and cessation services for youth.
  • Partners of Delta, Montrose and Ouray, $297,161 - Mentors will support middle and high school students with behavioral issues through school-based programs focused on prevention education and personal development.
  • Partners for Youth, $335,487 - Supporting youth by connecting them with trusted adults, this initiative will engage them in Youth Action Councils and prevent substance use through positive development activities.
  • Rocky Mountain Center for Health Promotion and Education, $800,000 - Enhancing protective factors against youth substance use, the program will train adults to build strong connections with youth in family, school, and community settings.
  • Servicios de La Raza, $950,000 - Deploying a bilingual cessation program for Latino youth, the organization will also launch a youth-led prevention campaign with educational outreach.
  • University of Colorado/Colorado School of Public Health, UpRISE, $544,018 - Expanding a youth-led social justice movement for tobacco control, this initiative will provide educational programs, build organizational partnerships, and engage a diverse Youth Action Board.
  • Youth Healthcare Alliance, $350,000 - School-based health centers will collaborate in an alternative to discipline model that addresses youth vaping within the context of understanding and responding to behavioral health needs.

In addition, the department is collaborating with CDE to award $11.4 million to local education providers over the next three years. Forty school districts, charter schools, and BOCES applied for the Vaping Education Prevention Grant for programming starting in the fall 2024 semester, with 30 providers awarded the following amounts for the first year:

  • Adams Arapahoe 28J, $140,267
  • Alamosa RE 11J, $244,968
  • Atlas Prep, $85,000
  • AXL Academy, $238,000
  • Bennett 29J, $218,547
  • Center, $198,098
  • Chavez/Huerta K-12 Preparatory Academy, $46,940
  • Colorado Military Academy, $117,471
  • District 49, $126,961
  • Dolores County RE2, $45,681
  • Downtown Denver Expeditionary, $78,000
  • DSST Schools, $114,000
  • Eagle County RE50, $213,353
  • Elizabeth School District, $130,217
  • Fountain 8, $131,009
  • Gunnison RE-1J, $74,534
  • Harrison 2, $253,405
  • Lake County, $87,543
  • Manco, $54,300
  • Mapleton, $36,681
  • Montrose County RE 1J, $100,000
  • New Legacy Charter, $71,624
  • North Park R-1, $187,545
  • Pueblo County 70, $127,657
  • San Luis Valley BOCES, $273,870
  • Sierra Grande R-30, $100,985
  • Southern Peaks Regional Treatment Center, $36,181
  • Steamboat Springs RE-2, $125,635
  • Strasburg 31J, $91,500
  • Summit, $50,000

“We are pleased to award this grant funding to fight the youth vaping crisis by providing resources for education, prevention and treatment in our Colorado schools,” said Colorado Education Commissioner Susana Córdova. “Our goal is to give local educators the tools they need to address the health impacts of vaping on our youth.”

The Juul Labs, Inc. settlement was reached in 2023, resolving a lawsuit against the company for targeting young people in its marketing and misrepresenting the health risks of its products. Colorado received $31.7 million from the nationwide settlement.

Both grants are part of the attorney general’s comprehensive, multifaceted approach to address the immediate and long-lasting health implications of youth vaping. Last month, Weiser also announced a $20 million initiative to boost school-community partnerships and promote youth mental health and wellness statewide. Applications for this granting opportunity will open in fall 2024 and close in early 2025.