As the vaping epidemic rages on in Hawai‘i County, the Tobacco-Free Hawai’i Island (TFHI) Coalition uses partnership and education to make important gains with school personnel and students. In partnership with Dr. Forrest Batz, TFHI created a comprehensive Vape 101 presentation for school administrators, faculty and staff, parent groups and community organizations as well as a vape prevention presentation specifically tailored for middle and high school students. Both have been a great networking tool for the TFHI partners in Hawai‘i County, further developing our partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Education (HIDOE) on Hawai’i Island.
HIPHI staff presented Vape 101 at the West Hawai’i Parent Community Networking Centers (PCNCs) quarterly meeting. The PCNC’s are a critical link to parents and guardians in our community and were pivotal in providing feedback on how to engage parents.
From February through May 2019, TFHI partners and HIPHI staff educated youth in multiple ESD prevention presentations across the island, with in-class presentations for 6th to 10th graders. These presentations highlighted current myths and facts about vaping, the health risks, and current local, county, and state laws.
With the help of Lenore Garcia, the HIDOE West Hawai’i Family & Community Engagement Resource Teacher, Vape 101 was also presented to the West Hawai‘i Principals and West Hawai’i Complex Area Superintendent, Art Souza, in March 2019.
Overall, the TFHI Coalition members have presented at 21 schools on the Big Island this past quarter alone. With the request of presentations increasing each month, we have decided to increase capacity by training staff members within the schools to deliver the ESD prevention presentation in their schools in the Fall of 2019.