chapter  2
Introducing Successful Tobacco-Intervention Programs
Pages 20

The country has rallied to the war to help stop teenage tobacco use. Vice President Al Gore has unveiled a new $142 million initiative to help prevent children from smoking, including a new advertising campaign and a challenge to schools across the country to adopt model prevention and intervention programs. The Vice President is calling on every school around the nation to adopt effective programs to target youth smoking. Educators will be expected to playa major role in developing school-based prevention and intervention programs as part of community coalitions. Many administrators, counselors, and teachers have enough on their plate trying to cope with the national movement to improve academic standards and test scores for all students. They will have to make this new role viable given the staff resources available for such a program. Clearly, as The Carnegie Corporation Report suggests, "Schools could do more than perhaps any single institution in society to help young people live healthier lives .... " In order to do more, however, educators will need information and successful program models, guidance in developing programs that include a plan to redirect staff in new ways to lead tobacco-intervention programs and still manage to carryon the other missions they are mandated to complete. The national effort for teenage tobacco prevention and intervention will require organizational and staff changes to ensure success. Vice President Gore emphasizes what success in this effort will mean: the programs will "prevent three million children from starting to smoke and sav[e] one million lives during the next five years." It behooves educators to be proactive and well prepared.