High-school smoking prevention: results of a three-year longitudinal study

J Behav Med. 1986 Oct;9(5):439-52. doi: 10.1007/BF00845132.


This study compared two strategies for preventing cigarette smoking among high-school students. One strategy emphasized social-pressure resistance skills, while the other focused on education about health concerns which are relevant to high-school students. Additionally, the use of same-age peer leaders and the use of familiar models in media presentations were investigated. The results suggest that social-influences resistance training was efficacious in reducing transitions to higher use by those who had previously experimented with cigarettes. Health education was most effective in preventing initial experimentation among those who had not smoked prior to the beginning of the study. Neither program was effective in limiting transitions among those who had gone beyond the experimental stage of smoking, and neither had any effect on encouraging cessation. There were no differences which could be attributed to peer leaders or to familiar media models. During later adolescence, a combined health education and social skills training approach is advocated. It is suggested that while there are some gains by implementing programs during late adolescence, prevention programs targeted at younger students may be more effective generally.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior
  • Mass Media
  • Peer Group
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Social Conformity