Learning Objectives: Use a computer program to demonstrate the effect of tobacco use on the appearance of individual teenagers. Describe the impact of this presentation on the young people who participate in it.
Abstract: Computer software that personally illustrates the future effect of tobacco use on teenagers’ appearance will be demonstrated and an evaluation of the program’s impact on middle school, high school and college-age participants across New York State will be presented. The Task Force for Tobacco-Free Women and Girls is a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals who are concerned about the impact of tobacco use on the lives of women and girls. In 1998 the Task Force conducted a contest for students in which entrants answered the question, “What would make a girl not want to smoke?” Among the suggestions was the intriguing idea of showing each girl how the premature wrinkling caused by tobacco use would look on her own face. APRIL Age Progression Image Launcher, a software program created from thousands of compiled photographs, has been customized to implement that idea. Each participating young person is photographed and the resulting picture is immediately processed. The result is actually two side-by-side images that, over a few seconds, gradually change. One image shows the typical facial changes that are likely to occur in the participant’s face as she or he grows into adulthood; the second adds the skin tones and wrinkling typical in adult smokers. Approximately ten students can be processed per hour. Participating students complete a survey of their attitudes about and experience with tobacco use before and after the demonstration.
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