Kane Health Department, Elgin Schools partner on youth vaping prevention

The Kane County Health Department (KCHD) and Elgin School District U-46 are partnering to implement a youth vaping prevention program in their 55 schools during the 2024-25 school year.

The KCHD’s youth anti-vaping initiative, Vape Free, Together, aims to bring together students, schools, parents, and tobacco retailers to prevent youth vaping, according to a news release from the health department. Vaping is not considered safe for adolescents or young adults.

Nicotine can harm brain development in children and young adults, and most liquids used in vaping devices contain nicotine, according to the health department. The Vape Free, Together program provides teacher training in a vaping prevention curriculum, parent education opportunities, and tobacco retailer outreach.

The initiative is supported by the Illinois Tobacco Free Communities grant administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health, according to the release. “According to the 2022 Illinois Youth Survey and the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey, Kane County middle schoolers are vaping at a higher rate than the national average,” Michael Isaacson, KCHD executive director, said in the release. “We are thrilled to partner with U-46 to educate students in their elementary, middle and high schools to tackle this problem.”

“District U-46 is committed to creating a safe and healthy learning environment for all our students. Addressing the vaping epidemic head-on is a top priority to ensure our schools remain conducive to academic excellence,” Tracey Jakaitis, Elgin School District U-46 Student Wellness curriculum coordinator, said in the release.

For more information about the Kane County Tobacco Control and Prevention Program, visit: https://kanehealth.com/Pages/Tobacco-and-Vaping.aspx. For free tobacco quit help, including counseling and nicotine replacement products, visit: quityes.org.