Send to

Choose Destination
J Sch Health. 2009 Sep;79(9):391-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2009.00426.x.

What works to prevent adolescent smoking? A systematic review of the National Cancer Institute's Research-Tested Intervention Programs.

Author information

Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University, 12137 Woodsyde Court, Owings Mills, MD 21117, USA.



Cigarette use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Although school is an ideal setting for antismoking interventions, school-based programs have not been successful in the long term. The purpose of this study was to explore characteristics of programs deemed to be successful short-term Research-Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).


To identify adolescent smoking prevention programs, 2 independently working researchers applied specified selection criteria to all programs in the NCI's RTIP database. Selected programs were abstracted using a structured form for general information, participants, interventions, outcomes, and quality. Extracted data were then assessed for common themes and contrasts in each category.


As of June 2008, 18 studies met the NCI's standards for RTIPs preventing smoking among adolescents. After selection criteria were applied, only 5 programs remained. Each independently working researcher arrived at the same pool of programs. In chronological order according to date of publication of outcomes evaluation, the 5 programs ultimately included were Project Towards No Tobacco Use, Pathways to Health, Native FACETS, Kentucky Adolescent Tobacco Prevention Project, and Sembrando Salud. The majority of these programs were targeted toward a particular sociodemographic group (eg, American Indians, Hispanic migrant communities).


New school-based programs are needed to address current issues in tobacco control. To improve chances of success, these programs may wish to target certain specific high-risk demographic groups, use professional health educators and/or trained community members, and build in methods of updating material.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center