Dec 31, 2001


Hutchinson Smoking Prevention Project (HSPP) is a multi-year, school-based smoking prevention program, focused on the social influences of cigarette use from grades 3 to 10. The program addresses participants’ social skills and their perceptions of smoking; in high schools, cessation materials and resources are provided, as well. Experimental analysis showed that participation in the program did not impact smoking prevalence.


Target population: Third- through tenth-grade students

The intervention began in the third grade and continued through the tenth grade, with teacher-led sessions designed to focus on skills for identifying social influences to smoke, skills for resisting these influences, and correction of exaggerated normative perceptions about smoking. Other goals included motivating students to desire to be smoke free, promoting self-confidence in refusal skills, and enlisting positive family influences. In high school, the program distributed self-help tobacco cessation materials to students, and newsletters regarding tobacco resources and current events to teachers.


Evaluated population: Third- through
tenth-grade students from 40 school districts in small- to medium-sized rural
and suburban communities in



In the HSPP, school districts were randomly assigned to a
social influences prevention program or usual curriculum control.The authors state that the distributions of gender, percent minority,
percent in single-parent families, and percent of parents who graduated from
high school among study participants were similar to those distributions among
all children in the U.S (Peterson, Kealey, Mann, Marek, & Sarason, 2000).

Although there was wide variation in smoking patterns among the studied school districts, Peterson and colleagues (2000) found no substantial difference in smoking prevalence between the control and experimental conditions, either at 12th grade or two years after high school. This trial was quite large and quite rigorous.



Peterson, A. V., Jr., Kealey, K. A., Mann, S. L., Marek, P. M., & Sarason, I. G. (2000). Hutchinson smoking prevention project: Long-term randomized trial in school-based tobacco use prevention: Results on smoking.Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 92(24), 1979-1991.

Program also discussed in the following Child Trends publication(s):

J. L., & Scarpa, J. (2002). Encouraging teens to adopt a safe, healthy
lifestyle: A foundation for improving future adult behaviors
brief). Washington, DC: Child Trends.

Hatcher, J. L., &
Scarpa, J. (2001).Background for community-level work on physical health and safety in adolescence: Reviewing the literature on contributing factors. Washington, DC: Child Trends.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents, Children, Youth, Elementary, Suburban, High School, School-Based, Rural and/or Small Towns, Social Skills/Life Skills, Tobacco Use

Program information last updated 12/31/01.