County Paves Way for Vaping Education
CLINTON — The Clinton County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to seek a grant to help combat vaping among students.
Supervisors authorized Chairman Dan Srp to sign a Justice Assistance Grant application that would provide money for a program aimed at stemming the use of e-cigarettes and vaping.
Clinton and Jackson County Prevention Director Leslie Mussmann said the focus of the proposed grant is e-cigarette and vaping use among youth. The 2016 Iowa youth survey indicated that 15 percent of youth report they are using, double the amount in 2014, she said.
“Our local law enforcement school resource officers are actually saying they think it has doubled again since that point,” Mussmann said. “They’re looking at more of a 30 percent use rate of electronic smoking devices amongst youth. So what we’re proposing is to partner with our local SROs, law enforcement at the schools, to create a diversion program.”
Mussmann said the diversion program’s main focus would be on electronic tobacco devices but would also cover alcohol and marijuana use. The program would allow students with no other issues with law enforcement or school suspension to defer receiving a ticket for the offense of using. After finishing an education program, the students would receive a certificate to the ticket would be removed.
“What we’re proposing with this project is to create that program,” Mussmann said. “That program doesn’t currently exist. So we would need to work with law enforcement to create that program.”
Mussmann said the project comes with a projected total budget of more than $62,000. More than $49,800 of the funding would come directly from the grant, and a 25 percent match would be provided by the Area Substance Abuse Council.
“There wouldn’t be a match for the county to be concerned about,” Mussmann said. “There isn’t a financial responsibility from the county. What we’re asking for today is for you to be the signed fiscal agent because it is a requirement that the county be that person for a justice assistance grant.
“So we’d be asking for you guys to be the funnel system for that project. We would need a signature for the grant, and we would also need access to the Iowa grants site to be able to finish the grant proposal,” Mussmann said.
The program will go into effect July 1 if approved, Mussmann said.
Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker said the county has administered Justice Assistance Grants in the past for this organization and for a couple of others.
“This wouldn’t be anything new for my office and its administration,” Van Lancker said. “It’s a little bit of time and a little bit of paperwork which the county’s always happy to help with these projects.”
The Supervisors approved the measure 3-0.