:: Bridging the Gap

“Bridging the Gap: Research Informing Practice for Healthy Youth Behavior” is a multi-disciplinary, multi-site collaborative endeavor intended to substantially expand existing knowledge on the conditions in the larger social environment that can influence health behaviors among American young people, including tobacco use, physical activity, healthy eating and obesity. The ultimate goal is to bring about changes in society that will help to substantially increase healthy youth behavior. Over 150 peer reviewed articles, book chapters, chartbooks, and other publications have resulted from Bridging the Gap’s research to date. Funded by RWJF.


:: Helping Young Smokers Quit 

This evaluation project ( focuses on identifying, surveying and evaluating
existing youth cessation programs. Phase I of this multiphase project identified and characterized 591 existing smoking cessation programs for youth. This descriptive study was used to guide Phase II, in which standard measures and methods were implemented to conduct longitudinal evaluations of 41 youth cessation programs across the country. This associative study assesses the program components, processes, and contextual factors that are associated with increased recruitment, retention and quit rates. Phase III, a sustainability study, implemented follow-up surveys of the programs found during Phase I and conducted snowball sampling of respondents to identify new programs in order to: (1) document and describe the Phase I programs still in operation; (2) identify factors associated with program discontinuation; and (3) identify and characterize youth smoking cessation programs that emerged since Phase I. The results of this three-phase initiative fill a gap in knowledge about the types and elements of youth cessation programs that are currently being offered, those that are effective and ineffective, and point to promising directions for future research and programming. This project is currently developing evaluation tools that youth cessation programs, such as those funded by health plans and community-based programs, can adopt for ongoing selfevaluation and quality improvement. Funded by RWJF, with co-funding by CDC and NCI.


:: Policy Environmental Scan and Analysis

YTCC conducted an environmental scan of eight search engines (e.g., CDC Smoking Health Resource Library, ERIC, Google Scholar, Helping Young Smokers Quit Project Database, Medscape, PsycINFO, PubMed, Social Sciences Index). Using three categories of search terms including all tobacco control policies recommended by The Guide to Community Preventive Services, the scan yielded 1171 discrete abstracts. Two reviewers analyzed each abstract to determine its relevance to the review. Less than twenty were specific to smoking cessation outcomes among youth and young adults, suggesting a considerable need for more studies, and for improved measurement of outcomes along the quitting continuum. Findings were presented at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health in October, 2007. The search is currently being updated, with a paper expected to be submitted in the fall 2009.


:: Tobacco Etiology Research Network

TERN is a transdisciplinary research network that is intended to achieve major scientific advances in understanding the transitions from initial to regular tobacco use, to dependence on tobacco and cessation
among adolescents and young adults. Findings and models developed by the TERN have been used by all National Blueprint funders to define developmentally appropriate measures of youth quitting and to guide the development of innovative cessation strategies. For more information, see Funded by RWJF.


:: Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers / Partners Initiative

TTURC consists of seven academic institutions with the intent to study new and innovative ways to combat tobacco use, integrate research across scientific disciplines, speed transfer of innovative approaches to communities nationwide, and train a new generation of tobacco control researchers. Three of the seven TTURCs include research components addressing youth tobacco cessation, including the interaction between genes, environment and culture, tobacco control policy evaluation and treatments for resistant smokers. Unique collaborations are being fostered among scientists across many disciplines to focus research on areas where there are gaps, including adolescent smoking. These centers have produced some interesting findings that relate to the mission of YTCC, including findings that relate to adolescent perceptions of self and self control; use of flavored cigarettes in older adolescent smokers; youth cessation program effectiveness; groups of adolescents that are most vulnerable to tobacco advertising; strategies for effective smoking prevention programs; the influence of Western tobacco advertising in other countries; support for pediatrician training in environmental tobacco smoke and parental smoking; associations between psychological factors and adolescent smoking; and longitudinal analysis of life stress, smoking and gender differences in adolescents. Funded by NCI, NIDA and NIAAA, with funding ending in 2009.


:: YouTube Video Tobacco Cessation Analysis

Recognizing the rising popularity of YouTube, particularly among youth, YTCC sought to examine the tobacco cessation content included in current YouTube videos. In January 2008, a search of YouTube was performed by relevance and view count using the search terms, “quit smoking,” “stop smoking,” and “smoking cessation.” The analysis revealed that the majority of videos tagged as “stop smoking” or “quit smoking” addressed non- evidence based practices such as hypnosis, Swedish snus to quit smoking, scare tactics, and herbal supplements. For example, of the “stop smoking” videos by relevance, 61 cessation methods were mentioned but only 9 were clearly evidence-based practices. These findings were presented in a poster session at the 2009 National Conference on Tobacco or Health.


American Cancer Society Legacy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Cancer Institute National Institute on Drug Abuse Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Find out how You Can Quit Smoking Consumer Demand National Tobacco Cessation Collaborative