Youth vaping use has grown exponentially in recent years and their popularity and normalization has outpaced research on their safety. A tremendous gap exists in public health education regarding the potential short- and long-term health effects of vaping. Teens are the most impacted group with escalating usage rates and little tailored prevention information.
KDHRC developed the AVOID prevention toolkit, the first discussion- and media-based vape prevention program. AVOID is anchored by videos and accompanying discussion guides designed to educate youth 12-16 years old on the potential risks associated with vape use. Community-based youth-serving organizations can use AVOID to build youths’ knowledge, heighten perceived risk, promote anti-vaping attitudes, and decrease intentions to use vapes.
AVOID is evidence-based and turnkey. Instructors with little to no prevention background can use AVOID to facilitate group discussions with teens about the risks and facts about vaping. The brief educational videos offer teens a peer-to-peer resource that showcases a teen talking about why teens should avoid vapes. We wanted to give teens a character who they could relate to and the informative, yet humorous script keeps the videos both engaging and educational.
We found significant, predictive relationships between survey participants’ exposure to the AVOID prototype and changes in knowledge about vaping, their understanding of the harmful risks of vaping, and their intentions to avoid vaping, even when controlling for demographic and psychosocial characteristics. Furthermore, we found positive though insignificant effects of exposure on changes in survey participants’ protective attitudes toward vaping and self-efficacy to avoid vaping. In short, students walked away from their exposure to AVOID’s key prevention messages with protective cognitive structures that theoretically predict their future avoidance of vaping.
AVOID has a strong evidence-base. You can view our findings here.
In Fall 2019, KDHRC proudly launched the AVOID program through an interactive website, where community-based organizations and schools can learn more about AVOID, purchase the program, and access their program dashboard. We will continue to update the AVOID platform with new features including a student facing website and data collection capabilities by Spring 2020. Visit www.avoidvapes.com to learn more.
Findings and outcomes related to the evaluation of the AVOID toolkit will be published in written briefs and peer-reviewed journals and presented at national conferences.