February Coalition Newsletter

Prevent Coalition News, Events, Updates and more.

First article.

Southwest Region Testifies in Olympia for Washington 21

Help us shout out to Deb Drandoff, Director of Prevention and Youth Services at ESD 112, and Madison Langer, Tobacco Free Kids Ambassador and Prevent Coalition member. Both traveled to the Capitol Building in Olympia, WA and testified to the House Health Care and Wellness Committee on January 15th educating legislators on issues related to House Bill 1074 which would raise the minimum legal age for tobacco and vapor product sales from 18 to 21.

On January 18th Langer also testified in the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee where they discussed health impacts of vapor products in relation to Senate Bill 5057. “Having 18-year-olds be able to buy tobacco products makes it way too easy to have them in schools,” Langer said.

Read the Seattle Times article including pictures and quotes. Read the update from Senior Director of Policy Julie Peterson at Healthy Gen. Watch the House Health Care and Wellness Committee video. Watch the Senate Health and Long Term Care committee video.

Want to get involved too? Get in touch with your legislators.

We thank both of them for using their voices!

Photos courtesy of Healthy Gen.

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Event in Review

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together," Shane Gardner emphasized, hinting at the goal of our "It's Not Just Vaping: Trends Gaining Steam Among Youth in Clark County" event and the Prevent Coalition approach. On January 30th we brought together diverse sectors of the community to share their experiences and perspectives on youth vaping.

Our special guests deserve outstanding recognition!

Moderator: Shane Gardner, Manager of School Safety and Security


  • Deb Drandoff, Director of Prevention and Youth Services
  • Madison Langer, Tobacco Free Kids Youth Ambassador
  • Deputy Brendan McCarthy, School Resource Officer
  • Sharice Lee, Student Assistance Professional
  • Maggie Munoz, High School Student, Speech and Debate and Key Club Officer

Madison Langer shared a powerful story about how she started using vape devices before recovering and becoming a prevention advocate. Langer explained she was a Varsity gymnast at her school and her talented, athletic gymnast friend was vaping regularly. Langer heard it was harmful but someone she looked up to who performed well was using so "It couldn't be that bad." Langer shared she only realized the harm when she later tried to quit.

Both youth panelists explained how easy it is accessing vape devices even though they're under eighteen. "I would trade doing math homework for vape pods, or buy them Taco Bell," Langer revealed. Maggie Munoz echoed, "I see a lot of youth on Snapchat post when they have (vape) products to sell to their friends," adding youth also post updates when security guards are present as a warning not to bring them to school that day.

An audience member mentioned news outlets highlighting vape devices being effective at helping adults quit smoking cigarettes. Deb Drandoff responded, "These are two different issues. Youth aren't starting with cigarettes then trying to quit. They're going straight into vaping."

At various points during the event panelists explained why adults are concerned. Vape devices contain high concentrations of nicotine, a highly addictive substance, and when chemically tested some vape juice pods labeled nicotine-free were found to contain nicotine. Vape juice pods contain elements that change upon being heated by devices making them unsafe like diethylene glycol, formaldehyde and propylene glycol. Nicotine impacts a young, developing brain differently than it does adults and there is a lack of education and awareness available about potential health impacts. Studies show the majority of youth are using multiple substances and not just vaping and they're getting it from older peers who share or sell to them illegally.

Concluding the event, panelists shared their most important takeaways.

  • "Be open to conversation. Don't go to your kid and demand to know if they're vaping then ground them. Be open to discussing with them and why they're using. Be a source of comfort and a person to talk to," Maggie Munoz urged audience members.
  • "We need to start as early as we can with kids," said Sharice Lee.
  • "Adults can reach out. Every kid is one supportive adult away from achieving success. Believe in them and help them get through it," Brendan McCarthy advised.
  • Madison Langer shared, "I will always be honest when speaking to kids, educators or parents. We need open, honest education because drugs are changing quickly and we need to change how we have conversations."
  • Deb Drandoff stated, "There are policies you can discuss with your legislators, like Washington21." Drandoff added, "Some see this as a consequence and punishment issue but it's a public health issue and we should see it as youth needing help."
  • "This is our community. We can make a difference. I challenge you to have one conversation with someone about what you learned," Shane Gardner encouraged.

News outlets covering the event include:

Other community coalition vaping and e-cigarette events include:

Truth Among the Vapors

Feb 14th at 5:30pm at La Center K-8 Library

Click here for Facebook event.

By La Center United

Vaping: What You Need to Know

Feb 19th at 6pm in Excelsior High School in Washougal

Click here for Facebook event.

By Unite! Washougal Coalition

Teen Vaping: What Parents Need to Know

Feb. 28th from 6:30-7:30pm at Cascade Middle School

Click here for Facebook event.

By Connect Evergreen Coalition

Thank you for joining us. We're honored that parents, youth, law enforcement, health care providers, youth-serving organizations, media and more attended and expressed interest in continuing the conversation.

Photos courtesy of Jacob Granneman at Clark County Today.

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The Washington Department of Health Tobacco and Vape Prevention and Control Program partnered with the University of Washington Tobacco Scholars Program to offer new research on the health impacts of e-cigarettes and vaping. Information gathered in the research report linked below is from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine 2018 report Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes, the most rigorous and comprehensive review of the science to date.

Research includes:

  • Short and Long-term Health Effects of E-Cigarettes
  • Youth Use and Risk for Smoking
  • Use by Adults Who Smoke
  • Challenges to Establishing Evidence and more!

Click here to access the research report.

Big picture

The Office of National Drug Control Policy is pleased to release the National Drug Control Strategy, which establishes the President’s priorities for addressing the challenge of drug trafficking and use. This Strategy provides the strategic direction necessary for the Federal government to build a stronger, healthier, drug-free society today and in the years to come by drastically reducing the number of Americans losing their lives to drug addiction.

The overarching goal of the Strategy is to save lives by engaging in a comprehensive approach that includes preventing initiates to drug use, promoting treatment services leading to long-term recovery, and aggressively reducing the availability of illicit drugs in America’s communities.

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SAMHSA Grant Applications Available

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2019 Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act (STOP Act) grants. The goal of this program is to prevent and reduce alcohol use among youth and young adults ages 12-20 in communities throughout the United States.

Activities implemented in the project address community norms regarding alcohol use by youth, reduce opportunities for underage drinking by limiting youth access to alcohol, create changes in underage drinking enforcement efforts, address penalties for underage use, and/or reduce the prevalence of negative consequences associated with underage drinking. In addition, applicants will build on strategic plans that were developed under a Drug Free Communities grant.

Click for application information.

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Youth Achievement Celebration Accepting Nominations

Deadline March 15th

The Clark County Youth Commission announced the 21st annual Clark countywide Youth Achievement Celebration! This event recognizes youth demonstrating personal growth, community contribution and more.

Anyone may nominate a Clark County youth for a Youth Achievement Award. Up to 300 incredible young people will be honored for their accomplishments in one of thirteen categories.

Recognition is a powerful way to help young people feel valued and connected to their community. Having opportunities for positive involvement in the community, and being recognized for that involvement, helps young people be healthy, happy, and successful.

The nomination form is available in Word and in PDF.

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Mark Your Calendar

Clark County Public Health Data Training

Registration Required. Contact christopher.belisle@esd112.org.

February 12th from 10:00 to 11:30 am

ESD 112 Conference Center

Vancouver, WA

Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Committee

Point of Purchase Campaign Advancement

February 19th from 2:30 to 4:00 pm

ESD 112 Conference Center, Cowlitz Room

Vancouver, WA

Prevention Policy Day

February 18th starting at 9:00 am

Washington State Capitol Campus
416 Sid Snyder Avenue Southwest Olympia, WA 98504

Click for full calendar of coalition and community events.

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Other Training & Events

2/12 & 2/24 Community Brainstorm: Building a Resilient & Connected Community

By West Van for Youth.

2/18 Prevention Policy Day

Rally at 11 am at Washington State Capitol Campus in Olympia, WA. Register today!

2/19 Vaping: What You Need to Know

At 6pm in Excelsior High School by Unite! Washougal Coalition

2/20 The Power of Change Youth Leadership Summit

From 9am-5pm from our partners in King County. Registration required.

2/21 Leading for Social Justice and Equity Training

At Vancouver Housing Authority from 9-5pm.

2/26 Webinar: Evaluating Shared ACEs/Suicide/Opioid Risk and Protective Factors.

From 11am-12pm.

2/28 Webinar: Community Activated Prevention

From 11-12:30pm by SAMHSA.

2/28 Teen Vaping: What Parents Need to Know

Feb. 28th from 6:30-7:30pm at Cascade MS. By Connect Evergreen Coalition

3/18 Stand Up for Teens Summit

At Skamania Lodge by Stevenson-Carson School District. Register by March 1st.

4/11 ACES & Resiliency with Dr. Amy Stoeber

From 5:30-7:30pm by La Center United.

4/19 Making Meetings Work: The Art of Facilitation for Prevention Coordinators.

For Prevention Coordinators from 8:30-4:30pm. Registration required, capacity of 25.

4/19 Prevention is a Party

Youth event by STASHA celebrating healthy, pro-social activities. Contact Alaina.Green@clark.wa.gov for more information.

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