Tuesday, 19 November 2002 - 4:15 PM
Hilton San Francisco Taylor A & B (90)

This presentation is part of PREV-89. Tobacco Use Among Youth in Specific Populations

Design and Implementation of a Smoking Prevention Program Specifically Tailored to Latino Teenagers in a Border School District in Laredo, Texas

Luis F. Velez, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Rsearch Center, lvelez@bcm.tmc.edu, Patricia Chalela, MPH, pchalela@bcm.tmc.edu, Amelie Ramirez, DrPH, aramirez@bcm.tmc.edu.

Learning Objectives: Describe factors associated with smoking and discuss campaign components that are essential in the design and implementation of smoking prevention programs involving Latino youth

Abstract: Smoking among US-Mexico border Latino teenagers has received little attention, despite the increased interest in tobacco control all over the nation. Laredo Independent School District serves one of the poorest communities in Texas, and school performance and drop out rates are major concerns. These risk factors, added to the increased tobacco marketing to Latino children, and the easy access to tobacco products in the Mexican bordering cities, make these teenagers a high-risk population. A survey was conducted with 2,500 Middle and High School students, showing a lifetime prevalence o smoking of 31.7% and a rate of daily smoking of 3.8%. Smoking doubled between 12 and 13 years of age (18 to 37%), and 68% had tried cigarettes by age 18. Daily consumption peaked at 15 and reached a plateau after that. Males were more likely to smoke than females. To prevent initiation and reduce tobacco use, a participatory interpersonal communication and mass media campaign particularly tailored to the preferences, beliefs and social interactions of border Latino teenagers was implemented. Process and outcome evaluation yielded specific recommendation for the development of smoking prevention programs for Latino children.

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