Background. Achieving significant reductions in tobacco use by youth is an important challenge. There is a pressing need to develop and evaluate innovative strategies that stimulate youth involvement and are effective in multi-ethnic populations. This article describes an innovative tobacco prevention trial, and reports baseline characteristics of participants and findings about implementation of the curriculum. Methods. The aim of Project SPLASH is to evaluate the impact of a school-based smoking prevention intervention that emphasizes active involvement of middle school students, on rates of smoking initiation and regular smoking in a multi-ethnic cohort of youth in Hawaii. Project SPLASH is a group randomized trial that compares a 2-year innovative intervention with a social influence prevention program, in 20 public schools in Hawaii. The main outcome is mean 30-day smoking prevalence rates. Results. The response rate was 78.4%. Approximately 1 in 4 students had tried smoking and 30-day smoking prevalence at baseline was 8%. Intervention and control groups were comparable in terms of tobacco use, gender, ethnicity, behavioral, environmental, and psychosocial characteristics. Differences in ethnic identification, socio-economic status, acculturation, and involvement in prevention activities may be due to chance. The intervention was well implemented by teachers across both the intervention and control school classes. Conclusion. For this study, 20 schools in Hawaii with close to 4000 participating students were recruited. Student smoking behavior and curriculum implementation were comparable by group status. The intervention study has the potential to elucidate how youth respond to an intervention with student involvement that incorporates cognitive and social action components.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health