Program Goals/Target Population
The Minnesota Smoking Prevention Program (MSPP) is a smoking prevention program designed to promote awareness and knowledge of the harms of tobacco use among school-aged children. The goals of MSPP are to (1) help youths identify the reasons children their age smoke (e.g., peer pressure, advertising, lack of self-confidence); (2) provide resistance tools they can implement; and (3) emphasize the value of social support in resistance through peer leadership activities. Throughout the span of six classroom sessions, the program aims to instill educationally based strategies to abstain from tobacco use. The program was developed for students to work in collaboration with peers to apply learned tactics to not smoke.
Program Activities/Key Personnel
The development of MSPP came about from a larger project titled Minnesota Heart Health Program (MHHP) that was conducted in the North Dakota areas of Fargo and West Fargo, and Moorhead, Minn. The MHHP was designed to improve eating, exercise, and smoking patterns across the entire population of the communities. The MSPP was one component of this effort. The inaugural year of MSPP began in 1984 with sixth graders.
MSPP is comprised of six sessions that last 45–50 minutes in length. Each session was designed to incorporate various educational strategies for preventing tobacco use. The six sessions include:
- small group discussions identifying short-term consequences of smoking;
- comparing expectations of smoking with actual data and discussing overestimates of prevalence;
- learning why adolescents smoke (e.g., an attempt to seem mature);
- understanding how culture affects the desire to behave or act;
- skills to resist social influences; and
- expressing a public commitment to abstain.
Materials for implementation include a facilitator’s manual containing detailed instructions for each session. Additionally, transparencies and handouts are provided to lead each session. Peer leaders participate in a 30-minute training session conducted by the teacher to prepare them for instruction of student groups. The peer leadership guide was written specifically for students, and designed to make their time in MSPP worthwhile.
9 to 13
Smoking Intensity and Prevalence
The main outcomes evaluated in the study were smoking intensity and prevalence among students. Perry and colleagues (1992) found that 14.6 percent of the cohort sample from the intervention community that received the Minnesota Smoking Prevention Program (MSPP) reported smoking weekly compared with 24.1 percent of the comparison group, a significant difference. The number of cigarettes smoked per week was also significantly lower in the intervention group compared with the comparison group. In addition, data gathered from the examination of the saliva samples showed a significantly lower presence of thiocyanate in the intervention group compared with the comparison group.
The results from the cross-sectional data supported these results from the cohort data.
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