SDE: Tobacco Prevention and Cessation

Tobacco Prevention and Cessation
{The words Healthy Connections with human-likefigures in a circle}
Did you Know...
"Every day nearly 4,000 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and 1,000 kids under 18 become daily smokers. Many of these kids will become addicted before they are old enough to understand the risks and will ultimately die too young of tobacco-related diseases. This is an avoidable personal tragedy for those kids and their families as well as a preventable public health disaster for our country." (US Food and Drug Administration, 2009)

Tobacco Use and the Health of Connecticut's Young People 
According to the 2009 Connecticut School Health Survey (CSHS), administered to public middle and high school students in Connecticut, tobacco use by Connecticut youth is at the following levels:
  • 43,000 middle and high school students in Connecticut currently use tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, bidis, or pipes);
  • 6,300 middle school students (4.9 percent);
  • 36,700 high school students (20.8 percent); and
  • The rate of tobacco use among white students increases six-fold from 4 percent in middle school to 24.3 percent in high school. During that same time, it approximately doubles from 4.9 percent to 9.4 percent for black students and nearly triples from 6.5 percent to 18.3 percent for Hispanic students.

Connecticut students who say they are current cigarette smokers are more likely to be involved in other high-risk behaviors, including sexual activity, dating violence, drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. They are also more likely to consider themselves depressed. (Connecticut School Health Survey, 2009)

Facts and Data on Tobacco Use and Connecticut’s Youth

Source: 2009 Connecticut School Health Survey

Featured Resource

Guidelines for School Health Programs to Prevent Tobacco Use and Addiction
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC’s Guidelines for School Health Programs to Prevent Tobacco Use and Addiction were designed to help achieve national health and education goals. School programs to prevent tobacco use and addiction will be most effective if they:

  • Prohibit tobacco use at all school facilities and events;
  • Encourage and help students and staff to quit using tobacco;
  • Provide developmentally appropriate instruction in grades K–12 that addresses the social and psychological causes of tobacco use;
  • Are part of a coordinated school health program through which teachers, students, families, administrators, and community leaders deliver consistent messages about tobacco use; and
  • Are reinforced by communitywide efforts to prevent tobacco use and addiction.

The guidelines include seven recommendations for ensuring a quality school program to prevent tobacco use and include: policy, instruction, curriculum, training, family involvement, tobacco-use cessation efforts and evaluation.  See School Health Guidelines: Tobacco Use for strategies most likely to be effective in preventing tobacco use and addiction among young people.

Science-based Strategies

The School Health Index can help schools implement school health guidelines and related strategies. This self-assessment and planning tool enables schools to identify the strengths and weaknesses of health promotion policies and programs and assists schools in developing an action plan for improving the school environment.

Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT). The HECAT can help school districts, schools, and others conduct a clear, complete, and consistent analysis of health education curricula based on the National Health Education Standards and CDC’s Characteristics of Effective Health Education Curricula. The HECAT results can help schools select or develop appropriate and effective health education curricula and improve the delivery of health education to address tobacco use and other health education topics. The HECAT can be customized to meet local community needs and conform to the curriculum requirements of the state or school district.

Registries of Programs Effective in Reducing Youth Risk Behaviors. Various federal agencies have identified youth-related programs that they consider worthy of recommendation based on expert opinion or a review of design and research evidence. These programs focus on different health topics, risk behaviors and settings, including tobacco use.


Connecticut State Department of Education

Department of Public Health


Content Last Modified on 3/21/2011 1:49:09 PM