Youth Tobacco Prevention Programs and the Importance of Testing Alternative Models of Youth Tobacco Use

Lorraine Samuels, Prairie View A & M University
Clete Snell, Prairie View A&M University

In 1998, the Master Settlement Agreement between 46 states and the tobacco industry, as well as separate settlements in four other states, resulted in a commitment of $246 billion by the tobacco industry over the next 25 years. Thirty states have already used these funds to make modest to substantial commitments to fund tobacco prevention programs. A review of these prevention programs reveals that relatively few reference theoretical models or criminological theory as a guide. Instead, several states refer to the American Cancer Society "Best Practices" as a guide to policy development. It is argued that criminology should have a role in the rapid development of youth tobacco prevention programs. National Youth Survey data were used to test learning, social bonding, and labeling models of youth tobacco use. Policy implications for tobacco prevention programs are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006