This study evaluated the effects of a community-based tobacco/alcohol-use prevention program group compared with an attention-control condition (first aid/home safety) group.
A total of 660 adolescents and 1 adult caregiver for each youth were recruited through the Migrant Education Program to participate in an 8-week intervention. Random assignment to the two groups occurred in 22 schools. Seventy 8-week intervention groups (37 tobacco/alcohol and 33 attention-control) were conducted. Assessments occurred at baseline, immediate post-intervention, and 1- and 2-year follow-ups. The primary outcomes of interest were susceptibility to smoking and alcohol, as well as smoking and drinking over the past 30 days. Following intervention, the evaluation found no significant differences between groups in smoking or drinking. Thirty-day smoking started and remained at low levels, with the highest group prevalence at any measurement period being 4.7 percent and the lowest 2.5 percent. Those considered susceptible to smoking declined by nearly 40 percent in the attention-control group and by 50 percent in the intervention group from baseline to the final follow-up. The overall reduction from post-test to final follow-up was statistically significant. Children who were less acculturated were less likely to report drinking during the past 30 days. The overall conclusion is that the intervention was not effective in preventing cigarette or alcohol use of participants. This may be due to low baseline levels of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcoholic beverages in the migrant youth participants. (publisher abstract modified)