News Releases

November 17, 2015

Agency to Release Targeted Tobacco Use Prevention Grants

Student Survey Shows Regions of the State with High Tobacco Use

The Vermont Agency of Education today announced a new method of school-based tobacco use prevention grants, by highlighting the significant disparity across the state regarding youth smoking rates.

"When it comes to youth smoking in Vermont, it is truly a good-news, bad-news story," said Bob Uerz, the Agency's Tobacco Use Prevention Coordinator. "Overall, we have reduced smoking by youth statewide, but in some regions of the state, almost a quarter of our students identify themselves as smokers."

Great strides have been made in reducing youth smoking through school and community efforts since 1995, when Vermont's youth smoking rate was 38 percent. Today that rate[1] is 13 percent, according to the 2013 Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey. However, there are regions of the state wherein this is still is significant challenge, as rates range from a high of 24 percent to a low of 6 percent (See List Below).

The Vermont Tobacco Control Program goal is to reduce Vermont's youth smoking rate to 10 percent by 2020.

Today, tobacco remains the single most significant cause of preventable mortality and morbidity in Vermont. Approximately 90 percent of adult smokers report that they began to use tobacco before their 18th birthday, according to the American Lung Association. Therefore, delaying the onset of smoking initiation and use by students is a critical priority.

In January the Agency will release a new Tobacco Use Prevention Grant, focusing on the supervisory unions with high rates of youth smoking and poverty measures, which also demonstrate readiness for success. This grant will require supervisory union-wide activity in each of six strategy areas of curriculum, assessment, policy, youth asset development, teen cessation, and community engagement to address existing youth smoking rates, and to proactively address e-cigarette use among youth over the next four years.

In the past, noncompetitive, non-targeted grant making offered funds to all Supervisory Unions and School Districts across Vermont to address this serious problem by requiring them to implement at least one single strategy from the aforementioned list. In 2015-2016, 52 Supervisory Unions and School Districts were funded with twenty (20) receiving the base amount of $5,800.

This new approach, still funded by the Master Tobacco Settlement (national dollars provided to Vermont from the tobacco industry) will employ a competitive process to rank Supervisory Unions for awarding four year grants of $30,000 each beginning in July 1, 2016.

Secretary Holcombe said, "By targeting the regions with the greatest need and providing each with sufficient resources to really make a difference, we hope to have a greater impact on this problem."

Vermont Youth Smoking Rate by Supervisory Union/School District

(highest percentage to lowest percentage)

HIGH SCHOOL RESULTS

(31) North Country SU: 24 Percent

(39) Rutland-Windsor SU: 24 Percent

(29) Orange North SU: 21 Percent

(20) Franklin Northeast SU: 20 Percent

(35) Orleans Southwest SU: 20 Percent

(50) Windsor Northwest SU: 20 Percent

(21) Franklin Northwest SU: 19 Percent

(27) Orange East SU: 18 Percent

(47) Windham Northeast SU: 18 Percent

(1) Addison Northeast SU: 17 Percent

(36) Rutland Northeast SU: 17 Percent

(42) Washington West SU: 17 Percent

(48) Windham Southeast SU: 17 Percent

(25) Lamoille North SU: 16 Percent

(34) Orleans Central SU: 16 Percent

(46) Windham Central SU: 16 Percent

(57) Blue Mountain SU: 16 Percent

(40) Rutland City SD: 15 Percent

(4) Addison-Rutland SU: 14 Percent

(12) Chittenden East SU: 14 Percent

(26) Lamoille South SU: 14 Percent

(30) Orange-Windsor SU: 14 Percent

(38) Rutland Southwest SU: 14 Percent

(41) Washington Northeast SU: 14 Percent

(6) Bennington-Rutland SU: 13 Percent

(10) Milton SD: 13 Percent

(13) Chittenden Central SU: 13 Percent

(28) Orange Southwest SU: 13 Percent

(45) Montpelier SD: 13 Percent

(49) Windham Southwest SU: 13 Percent

(53) Windsor Southwest SU: 13 Percent

(51) Windsor Central SU: 12 Percent

(54) Hartford SD: 12 Percent

(56) Springfield SD: 12 Percent

(61) Barre SU: 12 Percent

(3) Addison Central SU: 11 Percent

(23) Franklin Central SU: 11 Percent

(32) Washington Central SU: 11 Percent

(43) Washington South SU: 11 Percent

(62) Rivendell SD: 11 Percent

(2) Addison Northwest SU: 10 Percent

(5) Southwest Vermont SU: 10 Percent

(7) Colchester SD: 10 Percent

(15) Burlington SD: 10 Percent

(17) Winooski SD: 9 Percent

(37) Rutland Central SU: 9 Percent

(52) Windsor Southeast SU: 9 Percent

(16) South Burlington SD: 8 Percent

(55) SAU #70: 7 Percent

(14) Chittenden South SU: 6 Percent

(22) Franklin West SU: 6 Percent

(24) Grand Isle SU: Too Few Students

(19) Essex North SU: Too Few Students

(33) Rutland South SU: Not Reported

(18) Essex-Caledonia SU: Not Reported

(11) St. Johnsbury SD: Not Reported

(9) Caledonia Central SU: Not Reported

*Caledonia North SU and Essex Town SD do not have schools

MIDDLE SCHOOL RESULTS

The Vermont state rate of middle school students who have smoked (1+ times) in the last 30 days is 2 percent. Six supervisory unions had smoking rates over 5 percent; 19 supervisory unions had smoking rates among middle school students of less than 2 percent.

(25) Lamoille North SU: 7 Percent

(29) Orange North SU: 7 Percent

(28) Orange Southwest SU: 6 Percent

(1) Addison Northeast SU: 5 Percent

(35) Orleans Southwest SU: 5 Percent

(47) Windham Northeast SU: 5 Percent

(3) Addison Central SU: 4 Percent

(5) Southwest Vermont SU: 4 Percent

(8) Caledonia North SU: 4 Percent

(17) Winooski SD: 4 Percent

(20) Franklin Northeast SU: 4 Percent

(21) Franklin Northwest SU: 4 Percent

(36) Rutland Northeast SU: 4 Percent

(40) Rutland City SD: 4 Percent

(30) Orange-Windsor SU: 4 Percent

(48) Windham Southeast SU: 4 Percent

(49) Windham Southwest SU: 4 Percent

(53) Windsor Southwest SU: 4 Percent

(61) Barre SU: 4 Percent

(27) Orange East SU: 3 Percent

(31) North Country SU: 3 Percent

(34) Orleans Central SU: 3 Percent

(52) Windsor Southeast SU: 3 Percent

(13) Chittenden Central SU: 2 Percent

(15) Burlington SD: 2 Percent

(23) Franklin Central SU: 2 Percent

(54) Hartford SD: 2 Percent

(56) Springfield SD: 2 Percent

(7) Colchester SD: 1 Percent

(12) Chittenden East SU: 1 Percent

(26) Lamoille South SU: 1 Percent

(14) Chittenden South SU: 1 Percent

(24) Grand Isle SU: Too Few Students

(38) Rutland Southwest SU: Too Few Students

(50) Windsor Northwest SU: Too Few Students

(51) Windsor Central SU: Too Few Students

(4) Addison-Rutland SU: Too Few Students

(6) Bennington-Rutland SU: Too Few Students

(10) Milton SD: Too Few Students

(22) Franklin West SU: Too Few Students

(32) Washington Central SU: Too Few Students

(42) Washington West SU: Too Few Students

(43) Washington South SU: Too Few Students

(45) Montpelier SD: Too Few Students

(55) SAU #70: Too Few Students

(59) Essex Town SD: Too Few Students

(2) Addison Northwest SU: Too Few Students

(16) South Burlington SD: Too Few Students

(19) Essex North SU: Too Few Students

(37) Rutland Central SU: Too Few Students

(62) Rivendell SD: Too Few Students

(41) Washington Northeast SU: Too Few Students

(46) Windham Central SU: Too Few Students

(39) Rutland-Windsor SU: Too Few Students

(11) St. Johnsbury SD: Not Reported

(9) Caledonia Central SU: Not Reported

(33) Rutland South SU: Not Reported

(18) Essex-Caledonia SU: Not Reported

*Blue Mountain SU had no school

[1] Vermont state rate of high school students who have smoked (1+ times) in the last 30 days.

Connect with the Vermont Agency of Education on Twitter (https://twitter.com/VTEducation), Facebook (www.facebook.com/VTEducation), and YouTube (www.youtube.com/VTEducation).

Media Contact: Bob Uerz, 802-479-1437, Robert.uerz@vermont.gov

Source: Agency of Education
Last Updated at: November 17, 2015 08:43:03