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Colorado awards $17 million for anti-vaping programs from e-cig settlement

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Joe Mueller

(The Center Square) – Two nonprofit organizations will receive more than $1.8 million from Colorado as it distributes more than $17 million to address youth vaping.

Servicios de La Raza will receive $950,000 and the Boys & Girls Club in Colorado will get $855,979 in funds from a multimillion-dollar settlement reached last year with Juul Labs, a manufacturer of e-cigarettes. The grants are given to support programs enhancing education, prevention and treatment of youth vaping.

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Servicios de La Raza will deploy a bilingual cessation program for Latino youth and launch a youth-led prevention campaign with educational outreach. The Boys & Girls Club will use evidence-based programs, community engagement and peer-led activities at 50 sites throughout the state.

The two organizations were among 12 nonprofits awarded funds by the Colorado Department of Law and announced by Democrat Attorney General Phil Weiser’s office. A total of 42 local education providers, government entities and non-profit organizations will receive $17.4 million. Organizations providing mental and behavioral health services also are included among the grantees.

Colorado received $31.7 million from the $462 million settlement with Juul Labs in 2023. Five other states and the District of Columbia also received settlement funds.

“By investing in these organizations, we are taking a critical step toward protecting our youth from the dangers of vaping,” Weiser said in a statement. “This funding will empower communities to educate our young people about the risks, implement preventive measures, and provide essential treatment for those affected. Together, we can create a healthier future for our children and help them not turn to vaping in the first place.”

Twelve non-profit and government entities will get $6 million. The department received requests for more than $18 million from 31 applications.

The Department of Law is collaborating with the Department of Education to provide $11.4 million to local education providers during the next three years.

Forty school districts, charter schools and boards of cooperative education services applied for funds from the Vaping Education Prevention Grant, but only 30 were selected for awards for the upcoming fall semester and the first year.

“We are pleased to award this grant funding to fight the youth vaping crisis by providing resources for education, prevention and treatment in our Colorado schools,” Susana Córdova, Colorado education commissioner, said in a statement. “Our goal is to give local educators the tools they need to address the health impacts of vaping on our youth.”

The San Luis Valley board of cooperative education Services received the largest grant at $273,870 followed by Harrison District 2 schools at $253,405.

Another $20 million will be available to enhance partnerships addressing youth vaping with an emphasis of collaboration between schools and their communities. Applications for those funds will open this fall and close in early 2025.