Youth Smoking Rates Plummet in Virginia with Botvin LifeSkills Training

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 General News
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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Nov. 18 Youth smoking rates in Virginia have plummeted to the lowest point in a decade, according to the results of the Youth Tobacco Survey conducted by the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation. Governor Timothy Kaine recently announced that the percentage of Virginia high school students who smoke has dropped to 15.5 percent, well below the national average.

Established in 1999, the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation (VTSF) continues to lead a statewide effort to reduce and prevent youth tobacco use by promoting healthy living habits to children and teenagers. To that end, VTSF funds the use of model prevention programs, such as the Botvin LifeSkills Training program. A highly effective, evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program, LifeSkills Training has more than 25 years of peer-reviewed research behind it.

"The goal of the VTSF-funded LifeSkills Training program is to increase our youths' knowledge of the consequences of tobacco and substance use, while providing them with skills to resist peer pressure and other social factors," said Governor Tim Kaine.

"The LifeSkills program is a great tool to help reduce tobacco use among youth," enthused Alyson Brown, an eighth grader at Manchester Middle School. "The program has taught me and my fellow classmates the life skills we need to reach our full potential." Brown continued, "I'm sure that the program has enlightened many youth, including myself, to make different choices and live a long, healthy, tobacco-free life!"

In addition to reducing the risk of tobacco use, the Botvin LifeSkills Training program promotes youth development and healthy alternatives to risky behavior. The LST program not only teaches students how to resist peer pressure, but also how to develop greater self-esteem and cope with anxiety. Throughout the program, students learn skills such as decision-making, assertiveness, and effective communication to help them make healthy choices and avoid harmful risks.

About Botvin LifeSkills Training

Botvin LifeSkills Training is a highly effective and well-respected evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program with more than 25 years of peer-reviewed research behind it. The program was developed by Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, professor of Public Health and Psychiatry at Cornell University's Weill Medical College and director of Cornell's Institute for Prevention Research. Dr. Botvin is also president of National Health Promotion Associates, which promotes the use of evidence-based prevention programs and provides training and technical assistance. LifeSkills Training has been cited for excellence by numerous organizations, including the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, part of the U.S. Department of Justice. Studies testing its effectiveness have found that the Botvin LifeSkills Training program can reduce the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by as much as 80 percent. Visit for more information.

About National Health Promotion Associates

National Health Promotion Associates (NHPA) is a health consulting and research firm located in White Plains, NY. The dedicated research staff is committed to researching and developing the most effective approaches to promoting health and personal development in schools, communities, and families. NHPA is also responsible for delivering professional development workshops to providers who are implementing the Botvin LifeSkills Training program.

Media Contact: Paulina Kalaj 914-220-9431

SOURCE Botvin LifeSkills Training

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