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Volume 9, Number 11Space holderMarch 18, 2005

Study finds school-based smoking prevention programs ineffective

There is little evidence that junior high and high school smoking prevention programs reduce the prevalence of smoking in youth, according to a study in the March issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Researchers reviewed eight randomized, controlled smoking prevention trials with follow-up data through at least 12th grade or age 18. Seven of those studies showed no significant difference in smoking prevalence between students enrolled in a prevention program and other students. Only one of the eight studies had fewer smokers at long-term follow-up.

The study, which was funded by a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, was led by Sarah Wiehe, now an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Her four co-authors are researchers and faculty members at the UW. During the study, Wiehe was a UW researcher.

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