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.
Please open the tabs below to access these resources.