$1.5M grant awarded to UA professor to reduce e-cigarette use among youth

Updated: Jul. 31, 2018 at 12:39 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A University of Arizona professor for the College of Nursing has been granted $1.5 million to prevent underage smoking.

Judith S. Gordon, PhD, is working toward an evidence-based tobacco prevention program for fifth and sixth graders. The success of a trial program called Click City: Tobacco will lead to expanding the campaign to prevent youth from using tobacco or smoking cigarettes.

Data shows that since kids are not smoking regular cigarettes, they have shifted to e-cigarettes. Expanding the program will help educate students on the dangers of e-cigarettes.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, approximately 2,800 kids under age 18 become smokers every year in Arizona.

"We want to teach them what e-cigarettes are and change their perceptions of the devices," Dr. Gordon said.

The set up of the program is entirely individual and online-based. All teachers will be able to monitor the curriculum and test each student individually based upon their progress. The project will allow students to understand the health threats of not just tobacco, but e-cigarettes as well.

"Our program is plug-and-play," Dr. Gordon said.

Schools all over Oregon have used Click City: Tobacco and other states are ready to use the new program once it is released.

"Our goal is to create an effective program that can be used in classrooms across the country," Dr. Gordon said.

The grant was accepted from National Institutes on Drug Abuse.

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