CVS Health Foundation Grant Gives Students Tools to Prevent E-Cigarette Usage

Kinesiology faculty will train student teachers for the e-cigarette prevention program.

No smoking or e cigarettes signManhattan College’s Kinesiology department has been awarded a grant from CVS Health to implement their recently launched e-cigarette prevention program, CATCH My Breath.

CATCH My Breath, an acronym for Coordinated Approach to Child Health, is an e-cigarette and JUUL prevention program that aims to provide middle and high school students with the skills to resist peer pressure and media influences to try e-cigarettes. 

“Vaping has become a public health problem that has impacted communities all over the country," said Tekeyah Sears, Ed.D., program director of allied health and radiological and health professions. "Through the resources of the CVS grant, we are afforded to educate and address this issue within a classroom setting.”

Faculty in the Kinesiology department will facilitate training sessions for physical education student teachers, and health and physical education teachers. “By having our student-teachers involved in the grant, it gives them an opportunity to become more knowledgeable about e-cigarettes and practice teaching younger students,” says Shawn Ladda, Ed.D., professor of kinesiology. 

Throughout the 2019-20 academic year, students who are preparing to complete student teaching or health field experiences will receive CATCH My Breath training.

“Teaching high school students about e-cigarettes allowed me to inform students about the consequences of their decisions, and the unpredictable side effects of their use in the future,” says Caitlin DeMuro ’20, a physical education major.

According to NYC Health, more than one in six high school students reported using e-cigarettes, and adolescent use of e-cigarettes is more than double the current smoking rate, 15.9% compared with 5.8%. Furthermore, the same report states that the candy and fruit flavors are one of the top reasons young people use e-cigarette and JUUL products.

“The Bronx ranked the unhealthiest county in New York State, in which tobacco usage ranked as one of the leading contributors,” says Christie Gonzalez-Toro, Ph.D., assistant professor of kinesiology. “As educators, we have a responsibility to educate youth about the dangers of e-cigarettes.”

This initiative is one of many steps the College is taking towards a proactive approach for public health. Next fall, the College will introduce a new public health major in the School of Education and Health. The new major aims to protect and promote the health of all people and the communities in which they live, work, learn and play.

The CVS Health Foundation is investing $50 million and working with the nation’s leading anti-tobacco and youth organizations to support comprehensive education, advocacy, tobacco control and healthy behavior programming to help those who smoke quit and ensure those who don’t smoke to never start. 

–John Dove '18, '20MBA

By MC Staff