Tobacco use by youth in California continues to be a critical public health problem, disproportionately affecting low-income, racial and ethnic minority children and adolescents. Innovative tobacco use prevention programs are needed for this population. To address this need we will utilize the afterschool setting, a potential, yet relatively untouched venue, to delivery and assess a tobacco use prevention program by adapting Project TNT, a successful tobacco use prevention program used in middle school classroom environments, for the afterschool setting.
Guided by the principles of community-based participatory research, Breathe California of Los Angeles, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Carson, and the University of California, Los Angeles, have partnered to: 1) adapt Project TNT for a population of low income racial/ethnic minority middle school youth; and 2) conduct a pilot test of the program in South Los Angeles, a region of Los Angeles with a large number of low income African American and Latino families. We will assess the program’s feasibility for delivery in the afterschool setting and impact on participants’ tobacco-related knowledge and awareness, intention to use tobacco, and experimental tobacco use.
Through this pilot study, we will take the initial steps needed to begin a long term program of research that will adapt and evaluate an innovative youth tobacco use prevention program for delivery in afterschool settings, a unique, promising, and untested tobacco use prevention opportunity with potential for widespread dissemination.