FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – While the attention of Americans everywhere over the last year has been the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Surgeon General identified vaping among kids as an epidemic back in 2018.

In Fort Smith, a partnership has been formed between the school district and the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education to combat this health crisis at home.

“One of the issues that was brought to our attention was that students began experimenting with e-cigarettes and vaping products at an early age. So we wanted to partner with the local school district and try to get at stopping that behavior before it really becomes a habit,” said Dr. Barry Owen, director of institutional relations, Arkansas Colleges of Health Education.

The ACHE has two fourth-year med students who are certified trainers in the Catch my Breath program.

Those medical students are in turn training Fort Smith school staff on the curriculum to pass along to their students.