Learning Objectives: Explain how to implement a tobacco-use prevention program for middle school students.
Abstract: Objective: To present a tobacco-use prevention program to sixth-graders, who, according to the literature, are most at-risk for smoking initiation.
Method: A two-hour, three-part program was developed using the constructs of both the Health Belief Model and Social Cognitive Theory. Pediatric residents at a local children's hospital provide scientific and statistical information on the health risks of tobacco use to sixth-graders and integrate an upbeat musical "rap" into the presentation. In the second portion of the program, the students learn about counter-marketing and how to analyze marketing strategies employed by the tobacco industry. Multi-media and hands-on activities are used. Human lung specimens of deceased smokers are viewed. The third part of the program is a presentation by a cancer survivor (a laryngectomee) who reveals his/her personal story of tobacco use and addiction.
RESULTS: Teacher evaluations are consistently outstanding. Because of the large number of schools that have adopted the program into their sixth-grade curricula, the program has been expanded to a second hospital. A waiting list for schools desiring to attend the program is maintained.
Discussion: "Beat the Smokin' Rap" is a well-received, theory driven community program that provides immediate and ongoing tobacco education for sixth-graders. Process and outcome evaluations reflect ongoing classroom education by teachers after attending the program.
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