CHARLESTON, S.C., and WASHINGTON — Truth Initiative, the organization behind truth®, the nationally recognized, proven-effective youth and young adult tobacco and opioid prevention public education campaigns, and Kaiser Permanente have teamed up again with EVERFI® from Blackbaud®, the leader in powering social impact through education, to bring teachers and students two new lessons to specifically address the growing problem of cannabis-filled vapes. The new lessons, included in the popular Vaping: Know the truth tobacco prevention and cessation course, provide teachers with a trusted educational resource at a time when many of today’s teens are directly combining tobacco and cannabis use. The curriculum is used in high schools across the United States and has enrolled more than one million students in less than three years.
Among youth aged 12-17, co-use of cannabis and tobacco is more prevalent than using either substance on its own. Additionally, research shows that young people who use e-cigarettes are over three times more likely to use cannabis than those who do not. This data is troubling as research has consistently found that cannabis can have lasting impacts on the adolescent brain; specifically, exposure to THC during adolescence can impact structural, molecular, and functional alterations of brain circuits, especially in areas involving cognition and behavior.
The new cannabis-focused lessons equip students with knowledge regarding cannabis in vaping products, including short- and long-term health effects, consequences, and risks. The lessons describe reasons why teens and young adults may use cannabis or the co-use of nicotine and cannabis, help students make better choices to take care of themselves, and offer resources on quitting if they already vape. The lessons are aligned with the National Health Education Standards (NHES).
“Youth e-cigarette use remains a serious public health threat with more than two million middle and high school students vaping nicotine in 2023, according to the latest CDC data. At the same time, the use of cannabis vapes among young people has increased significantly in recent years,” said Kathy Crosby, CEO and president of Truth Initiative. “It’s imperative we reach students where they are to give them the facts on the dangers of cannabis and nicotine use, the risk of addiction and the resources they need to live healthy lives.”
Launched in late 2020, Vaping: Know the truth is a national youth vaping prevention course designed to educate students about the dangers of vaping nicotine, cannabis, and co-use. In addition to encouraging students to live vape-free lives, the course offers resources to help young people who are currently using e-cigarettes to quit through Truth Initiative’s first-of-its-kind text messaging quit vaping program, This is Quitting.
“The tremendous success of the Vaping: Know the truth curriculum and its widespread use by teachers around the county is a testament to not just the quality of the program but the need for this education,” said Ray Martinez, president and co-founder of EVERFI from Blackbaud. “Educators are on the frontline trying to reach and teach kids about the health risks of vaping and have seen first-hand the way that cannabis is quietly being added to vapes. The addition of these lessons to an already popular resource will provide educators with more support as they address the continued problem of youth vaping.”
Vaping: Know the truth and the new cannabis lessons are currently available to schools nationwide at no cost. The development of the new cannabis-focused lessons marks the third collaboration between EVERFI and Truth Initiative, following their work on Vaping: Know the truth and Prescription Drug Safety: Know the truth, which educates on the dangers of prescription drug misuse and fentanyl safety.
For more information or to sign up for the Vaping: Know the truth course visit: https://everfi.com/courses/k-12/vaping-programs-for-high-school-students/.
About Truth Initiative®
Truth Initiative is a national public health organization dedicated to achieving a culture where all young people reject smoking, vaping and nicotine and a future where commercial tobacco and nicotine addiction are a thing of the past. Our impact has helped drive youth smoking prevalence down from 23% in 2000 to a historic low of 2% in 2022. The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry are at the heart of our proven-effective and nationally recognized truth® public education campaign. As youth e-cigarette use threatens to put a new generation at risk, we are leading the fight against tobacco and nicotine addiction in all forms. Our first-of-its-kind, text message quit vaping program This Is Quitting has enrolled nearly 700,000 young people nationwide and our youth e-cigarette prevention curriculum Vaping: Know the truth® is being used in more than 9,000 schools nationwide. Our rigorous scientific research and policy studies, community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of using tobacco, and innovation in tobacco dependence treatment are also helping to end one of the most critical public health battles of our time. Based in Washington D.C., our organization was established and funded through the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more, visit truthinitiative.org.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 12.6 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. For more information, please visit: about.kaiserpermanente.org.
About EVERFI from Blackbaud
EVERFI® from Blackbaud® (NASDAQ: BLKB) is an international technology company driving social impact through education to address the most challenging issues affecting society ranging from financial wellness to mental health to workplace conduct and other critical topics. Founded in 2008, EVERFI’s Impact-as-a-Service™ solution and digital educational content have reached more than 45 million learners globally. In 2020, the company was recognized as one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company and was featured on Fortune Magazine’s Impact 20 List. The company was also named to the 2021 GSV EdTech 150, a list of the most transformative growth companies in digital learning. Blackbaud acquired EVERFI in December of 2021. To learn more about EVERFI, please visit everfi.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or X/Twitter @EVERFI.
Blackbaud Forward-looking Statements
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including statements regarding expected benefits of products and product features. Although Blackbaud attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, other important factors that could cause results to differ materially include the following: general economic risks; uncertainty regarding increased business and renewals from existing customers; continued success in sales growth; management of integration of acquired companies and other risks associated with acquisitions; risks associated with successful implementation of multiple integrated software products; the ability to attract and retain key personnel; risks associated with management of growth; lengthy sales and implementation cycles, particularly in larger organization; technological changes that make our products and services less competitive; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in the SEC filings for Blackbaud, copies of which are available free of charge at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or upon request from Blackbaud’s investor relations department. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc.