Grant to fund vaping prevention, treatment in Kenosha County

The local Hope Council has been awarded a Vaping Prevention and Treatment Initiatives (VPTI) grant by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services .

It is for efforts through 2025 to help address the pressing issue of youth vaping throughout Kenosha County and surrounding areas.

With the VPTI grant, the council will work to combat vaping among youth by implementing targeted prevention, intervention and cessation initiatives primarily within the Kenosha Unified School District. It will be done in partnership with several community service providers, including the KRW Tobacco-Free Coalition, Officer Friendly (Tyler Cochran) and staff from the Kenosha Police Department’s Safety Center, Kenosha County Public Health nurses, and the Concerned Citizens Coalition’s Teen Task Force.

The program will be designed to reach youth and young teens and will offer resources and education to make informed decisions about vaping as well as cessation support if they are already using e-cigarettes.

“We are deeply committed to tackling the rising rates of vaping among young people in our community,” said Michelle Sandberg, Executive Director of The Hope Council. “We believe strong partnerships are key to creating and implementing successful programs which will allow us all to support local youth to live healthy, vape-free lives.”

“Kenosha Unified is grateful to have so many community partners coming together for such an important cause as we have seen a rise in the use of vaping devices in recent years,” said Stacy Guckenberger, director of special education and student support. “We look forward to educating students together in hopes that we can achieve a healthier future.”

Initiatives supported by the grant will include informational/prevention campaigns, framework, tools, and a platform for peer-to-peer engagement, and implementation of several programs developed by the American Lung Association.

“We are grateful for support from Wisconsin DHS, our community partners, and most importantly, the Kenosha Unified School District for their continued commitment to addressing and preventing the harmful effects of youth vaping,” added Sandberg. “Together, we can make a meaningful impact and create a healthier future for our kids.”

The funding for the VPTI grant is part of a $14.7 million multiyear JUUL settlement aimed at reversing the harm caused by e-cigarettes. JUUL Labs, a leading manufacturer of vaping devices, is contributing to this settlement. Learn more about…

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