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Evaluation of a Tobacco Prevention Program on Knowledge, Attitudes, Intention and Behavior of Tobacco Use Among Fourth Grade Students: A Preliminary Study

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Education Volume: 31 Issue: 4 Dated: 2001 Pages: 399-410
W. William Chen Ph.D.; Robert Lindsey Ph.D.
Date Published
12 pages
This was a preliminary study to evaluate the effectiveness of a tobacco prevention program on knowledge, attitude, intention, and behavior related to tobacco use among fourth-grade students in four north central Florida counties.
The storybook entitled, "The Eglin Long-Horn of Nightshade County" was used for the tobacco prevention program. The program centered around a children's story about tobacco use and its consequences. The story, supported by activities in the Teacher's Guide, explored the chemical composition of tobacco, some of its poisons, the physiological, cosmetic, and social consequences of using tobacco, the immediate and long-term consequences of use, tobacco advertising, and second-hand smoke. The program had a strong emphasis on language arts, science, health education, math, social studies, and character building. On average, the program's lessons took 10 days to complete. For the evaluation of the program, four surveys were used. A 15-item survey was used to test tobacco knowledge; a 27-item survey was used to collect demographic information and assess behavior, attitudes, and intent toward tobacco use. A 13-item survey that consisted of information from the prevention program was used for student evaluation. In addition, a 28-item teacher's evaluation survey was used to assess the effectiveness of the prevention program from the teacher's perspective. A total of 28 elementary schools in four north central Florida counties were contacted and agreed to participate in the study. The study was divided into two groups; the education group (n=1,064) received the program, and a comparison group (n=1,075) did not receive the program. The evaluation findings suggest that the program was effective in improving students' knowledge, attitudes, and intention toward not using tobacco products. Data analysis showed that students in the education group had a greater improvement in knowledge than the comparison group. Students in the education group also improved their attitude and intention scores, while the comparison group did not show any improvement. The results also indicated positive responses from the students; and the teachers also responded positively to the program. 4 tables and 13 references