196868 Successful adolescent smoking cessation pilot in an alternative school setting

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Judy Donlen, RN, DNSc, JD , Southern NJ Perinatal Cooperative, Pennsauken, NJ
Merle J. Weitz, MSW , Wipe Out Lead NJ, Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative, Pennsauken, NJ
Amy Marie Minichino, BS , Mom's Quit Connection, Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative, Pennsauken, NJ
Since 2001, Mom's Quit Connection, a program of the Southern NJ Perinatal Cooperative, has provided perinatal smoking cessation education and treatment in NJ. In 2008, MQC expanded their services to tobacco addicted adolescents including those that are pregnant and/or parenting.

The pilot began with an educational series presented to 48 students in an alternative school. Alternative high school students have been unsuccessful in traditional high school and often have psychosocial issues that put them at higher risk for tobacco addiction. This setting, is smaller, more interactive, and close bonds often develop between students and teachers/nurse. The more intimate environment supported cessation intervention. Students received information on topics including: media influence, nicotine addiction and health risks. Use of non-authoritative messages helped to gain the attention and trust of the students. Following the series, 9 students expressed interest in a support group, 3 students and 1 teacher quit; 4 students committed to a 5 session cessation group. Topics included life skills, decisional balance, basic needs, identifying/dealing with triggers, and withdrawal symptoms. At each session, CO level and cigarette consumption was recorded.

All students decreased consumption. Success was measured by decreased consumption proven by lower CO levels, 100% attendance and student engagement in discussions. Pre and Post surveys measured knowledge change and treatment effectiveness. Students identified interactive teaching tools, games, peer led discussion, use of incentives like pizza parties and gift cards as highly effective in helping them engage in the group process and succeed. The program is being expanded to additional audiences.

Learning Objectives:
Identify strategies that engage teens in group participation. Discuss the benefits of an alternative school setting. Name three characteristics of a successful school cessation program.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Tobacco

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Amy Minichino earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Health/Health Promotion from West Chester University in 2002. Amy has worked in the field of maternal-child-health education for four years. She has worked, as a specialist in tobacco cessation. As a cessation specialist, Amy has provided one-on-one smoking cessation counseling for Momís Quit Connection. Currently, Amy is working with teens and providing group cessation support. Amy also provides training to prenatal care providers in speaking with their patients about the hazards of tobacco use. Amy is part of a team of specialists that created Momís Quit Connectionís 2Aís and an R Implementation Training for providers in the state of New Jersey. Amy was on the Smoke Free Hospital Task Force of a local hospital and helped create and implement the hospitals Smoke Free Policy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.