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Public Health Reports: A Middle School Program to Prevent E-Cigarette Use: A Pilot Study of “CATCH My Breath”

In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Drs. Steven H. Kelder, Kathleen Case, and Andrew E. Springer, Mr. Dale S. Mantey and Ms. Alexandra Haas of University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health-Austin and Mr. Duncan Van Dusen of CATCH Global Foundation determined the achievability and initial effectiveness of “CATCH My Breath,” an e-cigarette prevention program, among a sample of middle schools in central Texas. The CATCH My Breath pilot program comprised 12 middle schools in Texas (6 intervention schools and 6 control schools) from 2016 to 2017. Data was collected in 3 waves: baseline (January 2017), 4-month follow-up (May 2017), and 16-month follow-up (May 2018).

Using school as the unit of analysis, a repeated cross-sectional was tested, in addition to condition-by-time interaction on e-cigarette ever use, psychosocial determinants of use, and other tobacco use behaviors. Analyses controlled for school-level sociodemographic characteristics. Results indicated that from baseline to 16-month follow-up, increases in ever e-cigarette use prevalence were considerably lower among intervention schools (2.8 percent – 4.9 percent) than among control schools (2.7 percent – 8.9 percent).

Intervention schools also had significantly greater improvements in e-cigarette knowledge and perceived positive outcomes than control schools, controlling for covariates from baseline to 16-month follow-up. The authors concluded that ever e-cigarette use was lower among middle schools that implemented the CATCH My Breath program than among those that did not. Moreover, replication of findings among a larger sample of schools, using a group-randomized, longitudinal study design and a longer follow-up period, is needed.

Full article

Published since 1878, Public Health Reports (PHR) is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. The journal is peer-reviewed and publishes original research, reviews, and commentaries related to public health practice and methodology, public health law, and teaching at schools and programs of public health. Journal Issues include regular commentaries by the U.S. Surgeon General and the executives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health.

The journal focuses on such topics as disease surveillance, infectious and chronic diseases, occupational disease and injury, immunization, health disparities, substance use disorders, tobacco use, and many other key and emerging public health concerns. In addition to its 6 regular issues, PHR produces supplemental issues approximately 2-5 times per year, focusing on specific topics of interest to its readership. The journal’s contributors are on the front lines of public health and present their work in a readable and accessible format.

Visit Public Health Reports for more information about the journal.

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