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Funding available to help curb vaping

By Patrick Lynn

Nonprofits, government agencies, and school groups are invited to apply for funding now available to help curb youth e-cigarette use.

Marshfield Clinic Health System, through its Center for Community Health Advancement (CCHA), announced last week it was offering stipends to help curb an increase in youth e-cigarette use, often referred to as vaping, among Wisconsin’s teens.

The announcement came during an Eau Claire conference on youth vaping prevention that addressed tobacco history and trends, tobacco policy, tobacco’s changing campaign, and youth-led prevention initiatives. Presenters represented The American Lung Association, county health departments, and law enforcement.

“Our Health System is very concerned about e-cigarettes, vaping and the health impacts they are having on our youth,” said Jay Shrader, vice president, CCHA. “These funds are one way we plan to support our communities in addressing e-cigarette use. They represent a critical way we can invest in our communities.”

A recent Wisconsin Department of Health Services public health advisory noted that e-cigarette use has skyrocketed from 8 percent in 2014 to 20 percent in 2018 among Wisconsin teens, Shrader said, reversing almost a decade of progress in youth tobacco prevention efforts.

The Health System is offering $500 stipends to community organizations and schools to mobilize discussion and efforts on e-cigarette initiatives, up to a total of $20,000. The funding can be used for planning or implementing initiatives, including training, education and awareness, policy alignment with state and federal initiatives, treatment or enforcement.

Organizations eligible to apply for grants must be tax-exempt, local government agencies or educational institutions. Proposed initiatives need to be conducted within the Health System service area, which essentially encompasses the northern two-thirds of the state.

The application deadline is June 21. More information and an application can be found here.