This article presents 1-year follow-up data from a school-based tobacco-use prevention project designed to test the effectiveness of three main components of social influence programs.
The components teach refusal skills, awareness of social misperceptions about tobacco use, and misconceptions about physical consequences. Four different curricula were developed and tested in a randomized experiment involving 48 junior high schools. The outcome variables examined were changes in initial and weekly cigarette and smokeless tobacco use 1 year after the intervention. Analyses indicated that each of the component programs was effective in decreasing both the initial and the weekly use of cigarettes, except for the curriculum in which refusal skills were taught. Also, each curriculum was effective in decreasing the initial use of smokeless tobacco except for the one aimed at correcting social misperceptions. Only the combined curriculum showed an effect on the weekly use of smokeless tobacco. The study concluded that the combined intervention was the most effective overall in reducing the initial and weekly use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. This suggests that different reasons for use exist and need to be counteracted simultaneously; however, since single programs were also effective in reducing all but weekly smokeless tobacco use, any of these components may be worthwhile prevention tools. (publisher abstract modified)