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Anti-smoking strategy targets fourth-graders, parents in rural and urban Georgia
Date:11/12/2007

kills Training increased refusal skills and self-esteem, better-equipping kids to say no to a friends offer of a cigarette, Dr. Tingen says. Parents and guardians also liked working with their children on the project. In those studies, 40 percent of the parents said they smoked, 80 percent of children reported that their parents smoked and all children had saliva testing that showed they were exposed to second-hand smoke.

Dr. Tingen estimates that 30-40 percent of the parents/guardians in the new study will be smokers. They also will receive self-help information, motivational interviewing and the nicotine patch. Motivational interviewing focuses on an individuals strengths in prior situations to help quit smoking.

Children in the control group will receive the standard health curriculum in Georgia and their parents/guardians will receive general health education information on nutrition, physical activity and risk factors for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Levels of cotinine, a breakdown product of nicotine readily measured in saliva, will be documented in both groups at baseline, at two years and as a follow-up at three years. Cotinine levels can be measured so precisely, it can tell if you are a smoker, if you are not a smoker but are exposed to second-hand smoke, or if you are not a smoker and not exposed, Dr. Tingen says.

We are trying to create this environment where parents work with kids on expectations at home so they can say, We are just not going to be one of those families that have smoking going on, she says. Young children are greatly influenced by what their parents do. When parents role model cigarette-smoking, it has a dramatic effect on their children. In fact, most children who smoke got their first cigarettes from their parents.

Her goals include turning things around so that children become change agents for parents. Having Life Skills Training as a part of the standard curriculum would help, sh
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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia  
Source:Eurekalert

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Anti-smoking strategy targets fourth-graders, parents in rural and urban Georgia
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