Grant Will Support E-cigarette Prevention Program for 1,500 Students in Local Middle Schools and High Schools

The Sage Colleges Esteves School of Education is taking a lead role in the effort to curb use of electronic cigarettes among Capital District youth.

Sage will train pre-service student-teachers pursuing a degree in School Health Education or Physical Education, as well as professional educators at partnering middle schools and high schools, to deliver the CATCH My Breath e-cigarette prevention program. CATCH My Breath is a series of classroom lessons and peer-led activities to educate kids about the dangers of e-cigarettes and marketing tactics that promote such products. It was developed by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.

A $39,500 grant from the CVS Foundation will support Sage’s work to implement CATCH My Breath in New York’s Capital District, where it is anticipated to reach more than 1,500 middle and high school students. Beginning in early 2020, Sage will host on-campus trainings for in-service teachers and will include CATCH My Breath in the curriculum for pre-service student teachers.

Peter Stapleton

Assistant Professor of Physical Education Peter Stapleton is the program coordinator for Sage’s CATCH My Breath trainings, supported by a CVS Health Foundation grant.

“There’s real concern around e-cigarette advertisements targeted towards youth and major health concerns around vaping,” said Peter Stapleton, Ph.D., assistant professor of physical education and chair of Sage’s Professional Education programs. “Schools are seeking actionable solutions. Sage is excited to work with CVS Health and other university partners to present a plan of action and offer support to local schools regarding this health concern.”

Stapleton and Sage graduate student Sara Krahnke will collaborate with leaders at Springfield College in Massachusetts, the primary grant recipient; Plymouth State University in New Hampshire; Monmouth University in New Jersey; and Manhattan College in New York to collect data in anticipation of publishing research related to e-cigarette prevention programs in middle schools and high schools. The project leaders will also share best practices through local and state professional organizations as they implement CATCH My Breath in their communities.