National PTA and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids announced today a new collaboration to raise awareness of and help prevent e-cigarette and other tobacco use among youth. With 3.6 million kids using e-cigarettes, including nearly 1 in 5 high school students, youth e-cigarette use is rampant, and as kids return to school in person—many for the first time in 18 months—the problem could become even more serious. Through their collaboration, National PTA and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will develop resources for PTAs across the country to educate parents and support the elimination of flavored tobacco products, which surveys show are widely used by youth.
“Since our founding, PTA has been the conscience of the country when it comes to issues that affect children and youth. Our mission is to improve the education, health, safety and well-being of children and help them reach their fullest potential,” said Anna King, president of National PTA. “This mission and our collaboration with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is more important than ever to protect our nation’s youth.”
As part of the effort and with support from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, National PTA will provide $10,000 in grant funding to local PTAs. Local PTAs will use the funding to host events for families in their school communities to help them learn about e-cigarette use among youth and what they can do to prevent their children from using e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. National PTA and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will also provide local PTAs with resources and advocacy tools to lead anti-tobacco efforts within their communities. Further, National PTA and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids will survey parents and families to collect perspectives on parent, school and community impacts and experiences with tobacco use, with a focus on vaping and flavored tobacco.
“We are thrilled to partner with National PTA to provide resources needed to educate parents and teachers about the dangers and prevalence of youth tobacco use, with a particular focus on e-cigarettes,” said Portia Reddick White, vice president of strategic partnerships at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We also look forward to working with parents and teachers to advocate for the policies needed to protect kids’ health, including the elimination of flavored e-cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products. As National PTA is such a trusted resource for parents, this is a unique opportunity to broaden the coalition of advocates needed to address the continuing threats to our kids from tobacco use.”
National PTA adopted a resolution on Electronic Cigarettes and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) and Individuals Under 21 in 2016. National PTA and PTAs nationwide have been advocating in support of legislation, regulation and/or other national, state and local measures to address the manufacturing of and ingredients in e-cigarettes and other ENDS; to prohibit the advertising, marketing and sale of e-cigarettes and other ENDS to individuals under the age of 21; and to prohibit the use of e-cigarettes and other ENDS in public places and on school grounds. National PTA’s collaboration with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids builds on the association’s commitment to educating individuals under the age of 21, parents, school boards and local officials on the dangers of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.
“National PTA and PTAs nationwide work hard every day to solve problems facing our children, families and schools; bring knowledge, tools and resources into the everyday lives of families; raise our voices at the national, state and local levels; and make sure students are safe, healthy and have what they need to thrive,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “Addressing and protecting our nation’s youth from e-cigarette use is an important part of this work.”