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Tobacco Use Prevention

Tobacco Use Prevention

School health programs to prevent tobacco use could become one of the most effective national strategies to reduce the burden of physical, emotional, and monetary expense incurred by tobacco use. School-based programs offer an opportunity to prevent the initiation of tobacco and to eliminate addiction to nicotine and the subsequent difficulties of trying to quit.

Schools should encourage children and adolescents who have not experimented with tobacco to continue to abstain from any use, enable and encourage quitting for those who are tobacco users, and help users who are unable to quit seek additional assistance to be successful.

The guidelines recommend that all schools:

  • develop and enforce a school policy on tobacco use.
  • provide instruction about the short- and long-term negative physiologic and social consequences of tobacco use, social influences on tobacco use, peer norms regarding tobacco use, and refusal skills.
  • provide tobacco-use prevention education in kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • provide program-specific training for teachers.
  • involve parents or families in support of school-based programs to prevent tobacco use.
  • support cessation efforts among students and all school staff who use tobacco.
  • assess the tobacco-use prevention program at regular intervals.

There are state and national resources that can help schools and parents in the effort to reduce youth tobacco use.

Montana Resources

  • reACT- reACT Against Corporate Tobacco is Montana's youth empowerment movement which encourages teens to educate their peers about the truth and facts of the tobacco industry. It's education, motivation, and empowerment for Montana teens who choose to fight against corporate tobacco's deceptive tactics.
  • Tobacco Free Schools- Montana Office of Public Instruction
    • The Office of Public Instruction website includes a wide variety of materials for schools on how to approach tobacco use among Montana youth.
      • The Montana Tobacco Free School of Excellence Initiative was established in 2009 to help school districts and communities prevent and reduce tobacco use by promoting comprehensive tobacco free policy in schools.
      • Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data, Montana Tobacco Trends, and Youth Smokers/Nonsmokers Report
      • Health Education: Tobacco-Free Curriculum
  • Montana Tobacco Quit Line

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids- Promotes public policies proven to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. These include higher tobacco taxes, comprehensive smoke-free laws, well-funded tobacco prevention and stop-smoking programs, and tough regulation of tobacco products and marketing. They also expose and counter tobacco industry efforts to market to children and mislead the public.  

CDC Smoking and Tobacco- 2012 Surgeon General's Report—Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults Report 2012

American Cancer Society

American Heart Association

American Lung Association

My Last Dip offers programs to help chewing tobacco users quit, including one specially designed for chewers age 14-25.