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Youth prevention programs can be an effective way to prevent and decrease tobacco use. Nearly 30% of all high school students and approximately 12% of all middle school students surveyed nationwide, reported current tobacco use.1
Last updated: November 03, 2011
Prevention for tobacco use can cover a wide range of activities, including school-based programs (such as Life Skills Training) and community/medical-based programs (such as Media Campaigns). In this prevention section, we are highlighting prevention strategies shown to be effective for reducing the initiation of tobacco use among youth who are not current, regular smokers (i.e., never smokers or experimental smokers). Please see Youth Cessation for effective cessation strategies for youth who are current, regular smokers.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has commissioned a task force to evaluate smoking prevention programs among adolescents. The CDC then approves only those curricula that are shown to be effective. Currently, the CDC has approved two Prevention Curricula "as programs that work": Life Skills Training (LST) and Towards No Tobacco (TNT). These programs as well as other programs shown to be effective will be presented below in the Best Practices section.
Best Practice Programs
Community Guide to Preventive Health Services: A helpful site for practitioners and advocates which provides recommendations on interventions aimed at reducing or preventing tobacco use.
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids: The latest global, federal, and state initiatives on tobacco as well as local tobacco facts for each state. Youth advocacy is also highlighted in addition to numerous organizational partners.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Youth Tobacco Prevention: Access to Surgeon General's Reports, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report releases, as well as many other educational materials and guidelines for youth tobacco use prevention.
Kidsource: A Guide to Youth Smoking Prevention Policies and Programs: You will find this webpage particularly helpful for parents. There are many anti-tobacco education tips listed and organized into school, community, and family areas of interest.
MedLine Plus: Smoking and Youth: This website provides the latest news, research, and statistics related to youth smoking.
TTAC COLLEGE TOBACCO PREVENTION RESOURCE: "The College Tobacco Prevention Resource (CTPR) aims to provide practical information, ideas, and guidance to assist college leaders with planning, implementing, and evaluating effective campus tobacco policies and programs."
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2005). Tobacco use, access, and exposure to tobacco in media among middle and high school student-United States 2004. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, 54,(12), p 298.
2 SAMHSA Model Programs: Info on Model Programs, Brief Program Description of LST (2005). Retrieved September 13, 2006.
3 Life Skills Training: Program Developer (2005). Retrieved September 22, 2006 from http://www.lifeskillstraining.com/developer.php
4Life Skills Training, Elementary School Program. Retrieved September 27, 2006 from http://www.lifeskillstraining.com/lst_elementary.php
5 Life Skills Training, Middle School Program, Scope and Sequence (unknown).Retrieved September 27, 2006 from http://www.lifeskillstraining.com/uploads/media/LST-Middle-School-Scope-Sequence.pdf
6 Life Skills Training, Middle School Program. Retrieved September 27, 2006 from http://www.lifeskillstraining.com/lst_middle.php
7 SAMHSA Model Programs: Info on Model Programs, TNT. Retrieved September 13, 2006.
8 SAMHSA Model Programs: Info on Model Programs, Project ALERT. Retrieved September 13, 2006.
10 Life Skills Training, High School Program, Scope and Sequence (unknown). Retrieved September 27, 2006 from http://www.lifeskillstraining.com/uploads/media/LST-High-School-Scope-Sequence.pdf
11 Life Skills Training, High School Program. Retrieved September 27, 2006 from http://www.lifeskillstraining.com/lst_hs.php
12 Farrelly, M. C., Davis, K. C., Haviland, M. L., Messeri, P. & Healton, C. G. (2005). Evidence of a Dose-Response Relationship Between "truth" Antismoking Ads and Youth Smoking Prevalence. American Journal of Public Health, 95, 425 - 431.
13 Lantz, P. M., Jacobson, P. D., Warner, K. E., Wasserman, J., Pollack, H. A., Berson, J., & Ahlstrom, A. (2000). Investing in youth tobacco control: a review of smoking prevention and control strategies. Tobacco Control, 9, 47-63.