DESCRIPTION: (Applicant's Description)
Tobacco control among adolescents is on the increase. Innovative approaches
and new intervention channels are needed to boost the effectiveness of
tobacco use prevention and cessation efforts with youth. This Phase II
methods development study stands apart from other tobacco control
initiatives for youth by targeting employed adolescents. Employed youth are
likely to represent those teens most at risk to use tobacco, including those
of lower socioeconomic status, lower academic achievement, and who have
dropped out of school. This methods development study applies
state-of-the-art intervention methods from worksite-based cancer control
efforts with adults in combination with successful elements of adolescent
tobacco control interventions. In this study, tobacco use includes both
smoking as well as the use of smokeless tobacco. Our primary focus is on
cessation, since youth old enough to work are likely to have already started
to use tobacco. Effective cessation programs are needed for adolescents who
smoke. We also focus secondarily on prevention, since as adolescents begin
employment, they are exposed to new influences and job, and have increased
disposable income for purchasing tobacco -- factors that may contribute to
increased up-take of tobacco use. This worksite-based intervention will be
developed for use in shopping malls, which include work sites most likely to
employ adolescents. The intervention and evaluation methods will be
developed in close collaboration with employed youth and the representatives
of work sites that employ them. In this way, the intervention will be
designed in response to peer group cultures and norms. The specific aims of
this study are to: (1) Assess tobacco use and factors influencing tobacco
use among employed adolescents, aged 14-17, following a social ecological
model. (2) Develop effective tobacco control intervention methods for use
in worksite settings with employed youth. Effective methods are defined as
those which lead to: a) worksite participation in and support for the
program; b) the extent to which it is possible to deliver the intervention
as planned; and c) the level of adolescent exposure to and participation in
the intervention. (3) Develop effective methods for evaluating the efficacy
of identification and tracking of youth through worksite settings; b) high
response rates to assessments of tobacco use; c) complete assessment of
exposure to the intervention. (4) Estimate the effect size of a
worksite-based tobacco use cessation and prevention intervention for youth
employed in one component of the workforce - shopping malls. This methods
development study is designed to provide the basis for a randomized,
controlled intervention trial to determine the efficacy of worksite-based
interventions as a means of reducing tobacco use among employed adolescents.
The proposed research -- if disseminated and adopted on a large scale -
could have a significant effect on the reduction of smoking by adolescents
in the U.S.
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