The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has placed Not On Tobacco (N-O-T) on a list of recommended evidence-based programs dealing with tobacco and drug abuse. N-O-T is the 100th program to be added to the 16-month-old National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices.
The registry credits N-O-T with enabling thousands of teens to stop smoking. The program was developed by Kimberly Horn, director of the WVU Translational Tobacco Reduction Research Program, and Geri Dino, director of the Prevention Research Center at WVU .
A school-based program designed for smokers ages 14-19, N-O-T uses small-group settings to teach teenagers skills in stress management and stimulus control. The young smokers keep a journal as they learn about social influences and relapse prevention. The self-esteem boosting 10 weekly sessions are led by a facilitator who can be a teacher, counselor, school nurse or other trained staff.
“Teen smoking cessation is getting increased attention right nowdeservedly so,Horn said.After a consistent decline in teen smoking rates for many years, we are beginning to see it level off and even increase in some states. This is the case here in West Virginia.
The American Lung Association has adopted N-O-T, using it in all 50 states and also internationally by the U.S. military. The National Institutes of Health also has recognized N-O-T as a model program.
The online registry is a searchable database with information on the scientific basis and practicality of mental-health and substance-use interventions. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hopes to promote proven intervention programs to communities by compiling lists of programs that work.
We are a long way off from our national targets for youth smoking prevalence,Horn said.The SAMHSA designation comes at a very good time. Research shows that N-O-T is effective. More people need to know about N-O-T, and it needs to be more widely available to teens who need it.”
The registry draws about 15,000 people to its Web site ( www.nrepp.samhsa.gov ) each month.
For more information about the WVU Prevention Research Center, see http://prc.hsc.wvu.edu/ .