Hannahville Indian Community receives e-cigarette project support

HANNAHVILLE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Superior Health Foundation has granted funding, $11,518, to the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan to support the Anishinaabe E-cigarette and JUUL Health Education Project in the Hannahville Indian Community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens and young adults. Ninety- nine percent of e-cigarettes contain nicotine which is highly addictive and can harm brain development.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention further reports that JUUL is a brand of e-cigarettes that is shaped like a USB flash drive. Like other e-cigarettes, JUUL is a battery powered device that heats a nicotine containing liquid to produce an aerosol that is inhaled. News outlets and social media sites report widespread use of JUUL by students in schools, including classrooms and bathrooms. About two-thirds of JUUL users aged 15 to 24 do not know that JUUL contains nicotine.

Severe lung injury and death have recently been associated with e-cigarettes, such as JUUL. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as of October 29, 2019, 1,888 cases of e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury have been reported from 49 states and thirty-seven deaths in 24 states including Michigan have been reported.

Kelly Hansen, Health Educator and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist for the Hannahville Indian Community states, “Young children are at serious risk of ill health effects related to vaping, specifically JUUL products. Currently, there is a lack of education or any interventions to address the growing use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery products, such as electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) among young children. The Anishinaabe E-cigarette and JUUL Health Education Project will address this serious health issue by implementing the Catch my Breath curriculum.”

According to its developers, the Catch My Breath, curriculum aims to inform and educate teachers, parents, and health professionals in the school and after-school setting to equip students with answers about e-cigarettes to make informed decisions.

Noel Pingatore, Director of the Health Education and Chronic Disease Department at the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan states, “We were eager to help the Hannahville Indian Community when they shared the need to address e-cigarettes and vaping among youth in their community, so we worked with Hannahville to submit our proposal to the Superior Health Foundation.”

The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan is a consortium of all twelve federally recognized tribes in Michigan whose mission includes to advocate for member tribes in the development of programs and policies which will improve the economy, education, and quality of life for Michigan’s Native Americans.

Pingatore adds, “We are grateful to the Superior Health Foundation for their support of this much needed project, here in Michigan’s rural Upper Peninsula.”

For more information on e-cigarettes and vaping, visit https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/Quick-Facts-on-the-Risks-of-E-cigarettes-for-Kids-Teens-and-Young-Adults.html.

The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc. is a 501(C)3 non-profit corporation duly organized under a state charter filed April 16, 1968. The agency represents all twelve federally recognized tribes in Michigan. The agency is divided into several different divisions, including: Headstart; Early Headstart; health services; behavioral health; environmental services; child, family, and education services; and administration. The agency employs approximately 160 employees. 35 of these employees are based in the agency’s central office in Sault Ste. Marie, while member tribes have offices and staff on site. Visit http://www.itcmi.org/ to learn more about the agency.