Objectives: The Class of 1989 Study is part of the Minnesota Heart Health Program (MHHP), a populationwide research and demonstration project designed to reduce cardiovascular disease in three educated communities from 1980 to 1993. This paper describes an intensive, school-based behavioral intervention on cigarette smoking, comparing long-term outcomes in one of the intervention communities with those in a matched reference community.
Methods: Beginning in sixth grade (1983), seven annual waves of cohort and cross-sectional behavioral measurements were taken from one MHHP intervention community and its matched pair. All students in each community were eligible to participate (baseline n = 2401). Self-reported data collected at each period described prevalence and intensity of cigarette smoking.
Results: There were no differences at baseline for either weekly smoking prevalence or intensity of smoking. Throughout the follow-up period, however, smoking rates as determined by these measures were significantly lower in the intervention community: 14.6% of students were weekly smokers at the end of high school compared with 24.1% in the reference community.
Conclusions: These results suggest that multiple intervention components such as behavioral education in schools, booster programs to sustain training, and complementary communitywide strategies may all be needed for lasting reductions in adolescent tobacco use.