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Frisco ISD to add vaping prevention program in schools

'Catch My Breath' is a national program that aims at preventing e-cigarette and vaping use in students ranging from fifth grade through senior year of high school.

FRISCO, Texas — Frisco Independent School District is adding a vaping prevention program to its schools, as usage among children and teens continues to grow. 

So far, it's been a battle largely fought at home, as Frisco ISD Parent and Council of PTAs member Melinda Samberson. 

"Parenting’s not easy," she said. "Lots of hard conversations in there."

She has a junior, freshman and a 6th grader, all boys, and a big conversation topic lately has been vaping. 

"Our oldest, he has friends that vape," she said. "They’re addicted."

At home, she talks to them about the dangers, and where they run into it in their lives. They’ll also soon be hearing it at school.

Frisco ISD is launching a program called "Catch My Breath" and presented it to parents Wednesday night. It grew out of Austin in 2017 and is now in 1,100 schools nationwide, including others in North Texas. We asked which ones, but the program said it does not share the identities of the districts with which it works without the district's consent. 

"We are an e-cigarette vaping prevention program," said program coordinator Patricia Stempaniuk.

The curriculum targets fifth grade through high school seniors, and it focuses on debunking the social pressures and sharing the risks at age appropriate intervals. 

"We want to get to students before they start vaping, hopefully before they consider it or before they hear about it," said Stempaniuk. 

"I think it’s a better approach than us just talking until we’re blue in the face," Samberson said. 

She welcomes it, because she believes vaping is a threat to the health of her boys. 

"We don’t want something that’s going to damage their body and it not being able to heal themselves," she said. 

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