North Sound Region Youth Cannabis and Tobacco Prevention Program

Supporting Healthy Youth & Families in the North Sound Region

Whatcom County Health Department is the lead agency for the North Sound Region Youth Cannabis and Tobacco Prevention Program serving Whatcom, Skagit, Island, San Juan, and Snohomish counties. We work with partners throughout the region including other local health departments, coalitions, schools, and community partners on strategies aimed at reducing underage cannabis and tobacco use.

  • The majority of youth choose not to use cannabis or tobacco, including vapor products.. 94% of North Sound Region 10th grade youth say they haven't used cannabis in the past 30 days, and 92% say they haven't vaped in the past 30 days. (2021 Healthy Youth Survey, askhys.net)
  • Rates of vaping among youth, although lower in 2021, have been on the rise in recent years, more than doubling from 2016 - 2018. Vape devices can contain nicotine, cannabis, flavoring, and/or other substances. Get information on vaping.
  • Cannabis use poses many risks to youth including:
    • Effects on brain development.
    • Increased likelihood of using alcohol and other substances.
    • Impaired driving.


Resources for Parents & Adults 

Learn and share important prevention messages with the youth and adults in your life:

  • Parent and Community Resources: County, state, and national resources for Whatcom parents, caregivers, and caring community members.
  • Whatcom Families: When parents, caregivers, and trusted adults are involved in the lives of young people in Whatcom County, the benefits are positive. Learn about the power of parents and trusted adults.
  • Start Talking Now: Communication resources and tips for parents about talking with their kids about alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs.
  • Know This About Cannabis: Information about legal adult cannabis use.
  • Learn About Cannabis: Current science based information for parents and teens from the University of Washington's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
  • Washington Recovery Help Line: 866-789-1511. Provides 24/7 free and confidential emotional support and referrals for substance use, mental health and problem gambling services.


Resources for Youth 

Do you need resources to learn more about the effects of cannabis and how to avoid its use?

  • You Can: Website just for teens promoting positive healthy alternatives to cannabis and providing the facts about health effects and consequences of cannabis use.
  • Not a Moment Wasted: Healthy alternatives to alcohol and cannabis for college students in Washington State.
  • Learn About Cannabis: Current science-based information for parents and teens from the University of Washington's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute
  • Teen Link: A help line for teens, by teens.  Online and phone support for youth looking for help for themselves or their peers.  Support also available to parents and other adults for teens in their life.


Cannabis, Tobacco & Vaping Laws & Regulations

Stay safe and learn the laws: No use under 21, no use in public, don't provide cannabis to minors, and don't drive while impaired

  • The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board has information on cannabis-related advertising, licensing, taxes, medical, labeling, and rules and laws.
  • Vaping is not allowed in public places in Whatcom County. Learn more.
  • Some rules and regulations for vape products are also set by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.
  • As of January 1, 2020, the legal age to purchase tobacco and vape products is 21. Learn more.


How to Get Involved

There are many groups in Whatcom County working together to increase community connections and support healthy youth and families. See our Coalitions page for information on local coalitions and groups.


About the North Sound Region Youth Cannabis and Tobacco Prevention Network

The North Sound Region Youth Cannabis and Tobacco Prevention Network is coordinated by Whatcom County Health Department and serves Whatcom, Skagit, Island, San Juan, and Snohomish counties. The Network brings together health departments, coalitions, schools, and community partners across the region to support healthy environments for youth and families with a shared goal of reducing cannabis and tobacco use among youth.

The Regional Network:

  • Hosts bi-monthly meetings.
  • Provides professional development trainings for schools and community partners.
  • Organizes youth leadership training and opportunities.
  • Promotes media and education campaigns for youth and parents.
  • Supports school-based policy and education efforts.
  • Focuses on promoting positive community norms.
  • And more!

For more information about the North Sound Region Youth Cannabis and Tobacco Prevention Network, contact our Prevention Specialist.

The North Sound Region Youth Cannabis and Tobacco Prevention Program is funded by the Washington State Department of Health.