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Top-Rated Prevention Program Helps Cut Teen Smoking Rate in Alabama

   

White Plains, NYFewer Alabama teens are smoking, according to the results of the 2008 Youth Tobacco Survey. The survey, conducted by the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention Branch shows a 17.5% decrease in high school students who smoke in 2008 from those in 2006.

 

Making significant progress to address adolescent tobacco use, Alabama schools implemented the Botvin LifeSkills Training program in selected schools across the state. “This program has been proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse and violence by targeting major social and psychological factors that promote these behaviors,” said Dr. Donald Williamson, Alabama’s state health officer.

In addition to reducing the risk of tobacco use, Botvin LifeSkills Training promotes healthy alternatives to risky behavior through activities designed to teach students how to resist peer pressures, develop greater self-esteem and cope with anxiety. Throughout the program, students learn a series of skills such as decision making, assertiveness and effective communication to help them make healthy choices and avoid risks.

"School-based prevention programs for tobacco, alcohol and other drugs have an impressive track record of reducing substance use among youth," said Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, an internationally known expert on drug abuse prevention. Dr. Botvin is a professor of public health and psychiatry at Cornell University's Weill Medical College, director of Cornell's Institute for Prevention Research, and president of National Health Promotion Associates, Inc.

Botvin LifeSkills Training is an evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention approach with more than 25 years of peer-reviewed research behind it. The program has been cited for excellence by numerous organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  Studies testing its effectiveness have found that LifeSkills Training can reduce the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by as much as 87 percent.

 

For additional information, contact Paulina Kalaj at 914-220-9431
 
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