WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Teachers, parents and community youth groups now have access to a free youth tobacco prevention program at their fingertips, following the online enhancement of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s evidence-based program, Right Decisions Right Now: Be Tobacco Free (RDRN).
RDRN educational materials--now readily available via computers and smart boards--can be used to teach students about the risks of using tobacco products. The program also helps students build good decision-making skills and find effective ways to handle peer pressure.
More than 20,000 middle schools across the country have used the RDRN program since it was established more than 20 years ago. Community groups such as Boy Scouts of America; Big Brothers, Big Sisters; and the Crosby Scholars Program also have used the program.
"This program is designed to empower students to make good decisions, including the decision not to use tobacco, and to give them the knowledge to live a healthy lifestyle," said Pamela Gorman, a senior manager involved in R.J. Reynolds' youth tobacco prevention efforts. "RDRN is part of our company's long-term initiative to transform the tobacco industry. Over the past 20 years, youth tobacco prevention efforts and programs have had a big impact on reducing teen smoking, now at a historic low, and we are actively working on ways to accelerate the decline in youth tobacco use."
The RDRN program has been tested nationally and found to be successful on two key measures: Smoking levels decreased significantly in test schools, particularly for grades eight and nine, and the program lowered anticipated tobacco use among middle school-aged students. Additionally, students' susceptibility to peer pressure and their perception of the popularity of tobacco-using peers both showed significant declines versus control groups.
The program's new digital format is easy to use and designed for students in grades five through nine. It can be used by educators, parents and grandparents, as well as nonprofit community groups involved with youth. The free materials include a teacher guide and interactive activities that provide students with factual information about tobacco prevention that they can reference when completing subsequent lessons. All of the guides are available in digital format on the website: www.rightdecisionsrightnow.com.
The RDRN program updates and digital enhancements and activities were created by By Kids for Kids (BKFK), a marketing company that provides educational resources--curriculum and challenges that promote social change and entrepreneurial endeavors.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, an indirect subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc., is the second-largest tobacco company in the United States.