Teen Tobacco Use and Community Intervention

The results of a community intervention program on teen tobacco use

This study consisted of an experimental evaluation of a comprehensive community wide program to prevent teen tobacco use. Eight pairs of small Oregon communities were randomly assigned to receive a school-based prevention program or the school-based program plus a community program.

The community program included: (a) media advocacy, (b) youth anti-tobacco activities, (c) family communications about tobacco use, and (d) reduction of youth access to tobacco.

Effects were assessed through five annual surveys (time 1-5) of seventh through ninth grade students, ages 12-15 years. The main outcome measure used was the prevalence of self-reported smoking and smokeless tobacco use in the week before assessment.

The results showed that the community program had significant effects on the prevalence of teen tobacco use at times 2 and 5 and the effect approached significance at time 4. The intervention affected the prevalence of smokeless tobacco among grade 9 boys at time 2. There were also significant effects on alcohol use among ninth graders and marijuana for all students, showing that community intervention programs for teen tobacco use also help cut down other substance abuse.