Colorado schools receive more than  million to combat youth vaping crisis
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Colorado schools receive more than $17 million to combat youth vaping crisis

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — More than $17 million from the settlement of a nationwide lawsuit against e-cigarette maker Juul Labs will be distributed to schools across Colorado, with the funds going toward efforts to combat teen vaping.

In a July 9 press release, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office announced that $17.4 million would be distributed to 42 Colorado schools, government entities and nonprofit organizations.

Juul Labs has paid nearly $32 million to Colorado as part of a larger $462 million settlement the company paid to six states and the District of Columbia. The settlement was in response to allegations that the company marketed its electronic vaping products to young people and misrepresented the health risks of vaping.

Colorado is expected to spend most of the settlement money on programs that focus on educating, preventing and treating e-cigarette addiction among teens, including mental and behavioral health services.

But the efforts don’t stop there — the Attorney General’s Office said the state is also awarding smaller grants directly to 12 select school districts, nonprofits, and government agencies. The Combatting Youth Vaping in Colorado grant awarded $6 million to the following programs:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Colorado, Inc.$855,979 – This initiative will prevent substance use among youth through evidence-based programs, community engagement, and peer-led activities at 50 clubs across the state.
  • Denver Department of Public Health and Environment$541,158 (ongoing) – The program, which aims to address youth vaping, will offer trauma-informed counseling, nicotine replacement therapy, and community engagement with support from a Youth Advisory Council.
  • Rocky Mountain Health Promotion and Education Center$800,000 – The program aims to strengthen protective factors against substance use among youth. Adults will learn to build strong bonds with youth in the family, school and community.
  • La Raza Services$950,000 – In addition to implementing a program to help Latino youth quit addictions, the organization will also launch a youth-led, educational prevention campaign.
  • University of Colorado/Colorado School of Public Health, UpRISE$544,018 – An extension of the youth-led social justice movement on tobacco control, this initiative will provide educational programs, build organizational partnerships, and engage a diverse Youth Action Council.

A full list of beneficiaries and their efforts can be found here.

The Colorado Department of Law will also award $11.4 million to local educational institutions over the next three years in vaping prevention education grants.

“By investing in these organizations, we are taking a critical step toward protecting our youth from the dangers of vaping,” Attorney General Phil Weiser said in a news release Tuesday. “This funding will enable communities to educate our young people about the risks, implement preventative measures and provide necessary treatment to those affected.”