Effectiveness of a school-based intervention at changing preadolescents' tobacco use and attitudes

Academic Article


  • This study evaluated the effectiveness of a tobacco intervention on preadolescents' tobacco use and attitudes. A tobacco assessment questionnaire was distributed to seventh-grade students in May 1997 (N = 229) and 1999 (N = 230). During the 1998-1999 academic year, sixth-grade students at the intervention school received a tobacco intervention. Though not statistically significant, the number of smokers at the intervention school decreased from 43.2% to 31.1% after the intervention (p = .09). These students predicted less smoking in five years (29.6% to 19.8%, p = .078) and 20 years (28.4% to 13.2%, p = .004). Because of the difficulty in reducing smoking rates at the population level, the nonsignificant results can be viewed as a success rather than a setback. When faced with increasing use trends, an intervention can at least hope to achieve a decrease or slow the rate of growth, and the program succeeded in that respect. School-based interventions can effectively influence preadolescent' attitudes concerning tobacco use. Future programs should begin earlier and be reinforced yearly.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • VanDyke EM; Riesenberg LA
  • Start Page

  • 221
  • End Page

  • 225
  • Volume

  • 72
  • Issue

  • 6