Six-year follow-up of the first Waterloo school smoking prevention trial

Am J Public Health. 1989 Oct;79(10):1371-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.79.10.1371.


This paper reports six-year follow-up data from the first large-scale randomized trial of the social influences approach to smoking prevention. In 1979, 22 schools were randomly assigned to program or control conditions. Students in program schools received a social influences curriculum in six core and two maintenance sessions in grade 6, two booster sessions in grade 7, and one booster session in grade 8. All students were assessed at pretest (T1), immediate posttest (T2), end of grade 6 (T3), beginning and end of grade 7 (T4 and T5), end of grade 8 (T6), and grades 11 and 12 (T7 and T8). Ninety percent of study students were relocated and data obtained from over 80 percent of them at T8. Program effects on experimental smoking observed in grades 7 and 8 had completely decayed by T8, six years after the beginning of the program. Grade 6 smoking experience and social risk were each strong predictors of T8 smoking behavior. Subjects who had left school were smoking at more than twice the rate of subjects still in high school (grade 12) at T8. We discuss implications of the results.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Ontario
  • Schools
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Social Environment