207498 Healthy lifestyles tobacco awareness and Mississippi Delta youth

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Marinelle Payton, MD, PhD, MS, MPH , College of Public Service, School of Health Sciences, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Roslyn Knox Lockett, BS, MBA , Center of Excellence in Minority Health, Institute of Epidemiology and Health Services Research, College of Public Service, School of Health Sciences, Jackson State University, Jackson, MS
Annually more than 25,000 youth in Mississippi experiment with tobacco products, most often in the form of smoking cigarettes. Approximately 32% of those youth are under age 16. Statistics show that many adults diagnosed with smoking related diseases (e.g. lung cancer), started smoking when they were children, and became regular smokers before leaving high school; hence, the need for providing early tobacco health education programs for youth. Alarmingly, many elementary and middle-school aged students are not aware of the devastating short and long-term damage that tobacco causes to health. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify students to provide training in tobacco-risk awareness and participation in smoke-free advocacies. The objective of the study was to evaluate the knowledge-base of 400 youth in the fifth-eighth grades, of the dangers of tobacco; and to recruit 400 youth to become advocates for tobacco-free lifestyles in their schools and communities. Health education activities and training were conducted in partnership with Professional Motivators and Health Experts to advocate for tobacco-free healthy lifestyles. Prior to awareness activities being implemented, assessments were distributed to 400 students in the Mississippi Delta. The results revealed knowledge deficits in the association of tobacco use and disease. More than half of the students were not aware of second hand smoke and its association to cancer. At the conclusion of the program, post-assessments revealed an increase in tobacco knowledge and the dangers of its use by as much as 70% as a result of the health promotion and education campaign.

Learning Objectives:
The objective of the Healthy Lifestyles - Living Tobacco Free study was to Evaluate the knowledge-base of the dangers of tobacco-use of 400 youth in the fifth through eighth grades

Keywords: Child Health Promotion, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As the program director for this project, I was directly involved with the planning, implementation and administration of the project. I have more than ten years experience as a director, in planning and development of community and economic programs.
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.