This application proposes the development and field testing of an interactive computer program called "Rebels: The Battle for a Smoke-free Future." The program is intended to be offered through high schools to assist adolescents in tobacco cessation. Rebels utilizes multimedia technology for teaching cessation-related coping skills. In the program, adolescents will be exposed to the short- and long-term risks of tobacco use, the ingredients in tobacco products, and media influences in tobacco use in an engaging, dramatic manner. Users of the program will receive tailored motivational feedback based on their tobacco use patterns and motivations, which will then be linked to individualized skill- building interventions. Users will receive printouts tailored to their needs and interests. The program will integrate culturally diverse role model stories to impart tobacco information and cessation strategies. In Phase I, interviews, focus groups, and acceptance tests produced a program structure and prototype. In Phase II: (1) Rebels will be completed; (2) a validation of computerized tailoring questions will be compared to standard written questionnaires; and (3) the program will be field tested against a control intervention (standard tobacco education videotapes). If Rebels demonstrably enhances reduction or cessation of tobacco use, an extensive national market would be assured. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: The proposed program will provide targeted, computer-administered interventions to facilitate tobacco cessation for adolescents. Despite the rise in rates of tobacco use among young people, cessation programs tailored to adolescents have generally been unavailable or ineffective. This program could be marketed to school systems, and potentially to HMO adolescent medicine departments. Rebels, if shown to demonstrate efficacy, will be of enormous value in preventing the morbidity and mortality associated with long-term tobacco use. In addition, the commercial potential of such a program would be extraordinary.
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