The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A NEW TOBACCO INTERVENTION/CESSATION PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS: STOP TOBACCO AND NICOTINE DEPENDENCY (STAND)

Alisa G. French, MBA, BS, RRT and Belinda S. Huffman, RRT, CPFT, The Children's Medical Center, Dayton, Ohio

Background: Many studies have documented the epidemic increase of tobacco use in children and teens. More than 3,000 begin smoking every day. In response to these alarming statistics, the Respiratory Care Department of the Children's Medical Center, (CMC), in 1995 implemented the American Lung Association's "Tobacco Free Teens" program. This smoking cessation program was promoted as an alternative to suspension for teens "caught" using tobacco in local school systems. From November 1995 through March 1999, 102 teens completed the program. During this time we discovered teens are resistant to changing their already established negative behaviors. Due to their unique mind-sets and interests, intervention techniques were needed to encourage teens to choose positive attitudes and behaviors. We felt these behaviors were necessary before teens could be motivated to stop using tobacco. Method: We developed these intervention techniques and piloted a five-week, two-hour session program, entitled STAND. This program includes topics such as goal setting, problem solving, and stress reduction, secondhand smoke, the truth about tobacco and tobacco advertisement, and quitting techniques. The participants of the program complete a quiz to assess their knowledge and attitudes pre and post completion of program. The program uses a lung-breath Carbon Monoxide monitoring system to demonstrate the levels inhaled of poisonous CO, and to provide positive feedback. To make the program more appealing to teens and encourage participation a race track game board with prizes earned for attendance, homework completion, and tobacco free status. Other program features include graphic videos, human diseased lung tissue, and other graphic visual aids selected by a teen focus group.

Results:
A total of 24 teens have completed the STAND Intervention and Cessation program since July 1999. Of these 24 teens, 33% (8 teens) reported they were tobacco-free and had smoke-free verification with CO monitoring. Of the remaining 16 teens, 94% (15 teens) reported they had reduced their use. These statistics verify that teen tobacco use is difficult to stop but can be successfully reduced with education. Moreover, negative attitudes and beliefs were measured in 19 teens (the pilot group pre data was not collected) and were positively changed in 89% (16 teens) of the teens studied. Experience: Through pre and post test analysis, teens misconceptions and negative attitudes about tobacco use can be changed to a positive outcome through an intervention cessation tobacco program. Conclusion: Our STAND intervention and Cessation program includes effective intervention techniques and therefore offers an advantage over the standard cessation programs. We will continue to make this program available to teens as an alternative to school suspension as our results suggest it is a valuable program leading to a reduction or cessation of tobacco use.

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