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Am J Prev Med. 1999 Apr;16(3 Suppl):29-34.

A collaborative partnership to enhance school-based tobacco control policies in West Virginia. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Prevention Research Center, Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, West Virginia University, Charleston, WV 25304, USA.



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Guidelines for School Health Programs to Prevent Tobacco Use and Addiction were developed, in part, to help state and local education agencies implement effective school-based tobacco control programs. This paper: (1) reports on school tobacco policies, one facet of a larger investigation conducted to examine the consistency between WV's school-based tobacco control policies and programs and the CDC Tobacco Guidelines and (2) describes the impact this investigation had on state policy in WV.


A content analysis was conducted on all (n = 55) county tobacco policies using a coding protocol developed by the authors. This protocol was designed to enable judgment about whether the county policies addressed particular elements specified in the CDC Tobacco Guidelines. Additionally, data about school-level policies, collected from a telephone survey of a sample of school principals (n = 421), are presented. Since the purpose of the needs assessment was to describe current practice, frequencies were computed for both the county and school-level analyses.


Both county- and school-level tobacco policies were found lacking in many of the elements recommended in CDC's Tobacco Guidelines, particularly in the areas of enforcement procedures and access to cessation programs.


Two major outcomes resulted from this needs assessment: (1) the WV State Board of Education's Tobacco Control Policy was revised to be more consistent with CDC's Tobacco Guidelines and (2) increased attention is now being focused on providing cessation options for WV schools.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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