School-Based Tobacco Use Prevention Programs: Should They be Abandoned?




March 2002

Type of Report

OTRU Update


School-based smoking prevention programs have been a major focus of efforts to address the problem of smoking among youth and the cost-effectiveness of school-based programs of even modest impact have been demonstrated. Unfortunately, evaluations of many programs have yielded disappointing long-term results. This Update summarizes recent studies in the area and concludes that implementation of school based smoking prevention in isolation and without regard to smoking norms, participant characteristics and other variables will likely prove to be less effective in reducing youth smoking than school-based initiatives that are targeted and reinforced by multi-component tobacco prevention and control efforts.