A National Evaluation of Community-Based Youth Cessation Programs

A national evaluation of community-based youth smoking cessation programs developed a model for real-world, long-term program evaluations.

To remedy the lack of information about the effectiveness of youth smoking cessation programs, the authors participated in the evaluation phase (Phase II) of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s initiative, Helping Young Smokers Quit.

The authors used the web to recruit programs to evaluate. They conducted surveys of youth participants and program, organizational and community leaders in a sample of 41 community-based group programs that treated at least 15 youth each year and included evidence-based treatment components. The authors used this data to examine participant, program and contextual factors to determine their relationship with cessation outcomes.

This evaluation demonstrated that a web-based recruitment and application process is useful and feasible for collecting youth smoking cessation program evaluation data. It also showed that collecting data from multiple levels of programs reveals correlates of smoking cessation beyond the structure of the treatment. The techniques used in Phase II of Helping Young Smokers Quit could be implemented for larger-scale program evaluations.