The Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators on-line course would like to welcome back Florida educators and students to the 2017-2018 school year. Whether your district started last week, today, or you have one more week of summer vacation before your first day, we know this will be a great school year.
This year marks the eighth year for the Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators online course. Last year over 600 educators teachers, school counselors, and administrators from 51 districts registered for either the 30- or 60-point course, and almost 200 participants earned certificates of completion after teaching six (6) tobacco lessons to their students. The majority of those registered were from public schools (86%), however charter and private schools also participated. The top five subject areas included: Elementary, Physical Education, English/Language arts, Science, and Counseling, but teachers in any subject area can take our course. Slightly more than 45% of our completers had their certificate up for renewal in 2017.
We were excited to see the number of completers last year, but the number of students our participants taught was even more impressive with over 16,200 students receiving tobacco prevention instruction during the past year. Can you imagine the number of students who would receive tobacco prevention lessons if more teachers participated?
So, why is it important that tobacco prevention be taught to our students? Cigarette smoking for Florida students may be at an all time low at 6.9% (2015), but electronic cigarette use tripled between 2013 and 2015. According to the 2015 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey, that means “one in three high school students has tried e-cigarettes.” While many students believe e-cigarettes are safe, most contain nicotine which can “disrupt the formation of brain circuits that control attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction” in the still developing adolescent brain. Other forms of tobacco, such as smokeless tobacco, cigars and hookah, are being used by our students and all forms of tobacco contain nicotine.
Our tobacco prevention online course teaches our educators facts about tobacco products and how to help their students make better informed life choices before they are targeted by the tobacco industry or face peer pressure. The school year has barely started and already we have almost 30 participants from five school districts registered. We are off to a great start.
Let’s help our students be a tobacco-free generation.
Click HERE to go to the Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators online course to register.