Not On Tobacco (N-O-T) can help solve the smoking problem among teenagers in West Virginia. Teens who smoke are at risk for developing a lifelong addiction that can cause serious health problems and cut years off their lives. Teenagers who want to stop smoking need help, and they don't always get it.  Getting N-O-T into all of the schools in West Virginia will give teens that needed support.

"Many of these young adults who have been hooked on tobacco at a very early age realize their mistake before they finish high school and it's critical that we have this successful and well recognized tobacco cessation program available for them."  -Daniel S. Foster, M.D.

N-O-T is sponsored by the Governor's Safe and Drug Free Communities Program and the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health Tobacco Prevention Program.
N-O-T in Action:
  • The objectives of the program include helping teenagers:
      Stop smoking or;
      Reduce the number of cigarettes smoked;
      Increase healthy lifestyle behaviors (diet, exercise);
      Improve life management skills (dealing with stress, avoiding peer 
  • N-O-T is researched and evaluation based.  It was specifically designed for teenagers by the American Lung Association in collaboration with researchers from the Prevention Research Center at WVU.
  • Includes a highly detailed ten-session core curriculum, with weekly meetings lasting approximately fifty minutes (less than one class in a block schedule).
  • Uses diverse instruction methods (e.g. small group discussion, journal activities, role playing and handouts.)
  • N-O-T is gender-specific, and recognizes that males and females have different reasons for starting to smoke, for quitting and relapsing.
  • Reinforces smoking reduction as a benefit if students do not succeed in quitting.
  • Addresses smoking only (instead of other types of tobacco use).
  • N-O-T is a voluntary, non-punitive program that is aimed at the teens who want to quit smoking.

    As a part of the
    N-O-T facilitator training, the facilitators also are trained in the ALA Alternative-to-Suspension program (ATS).  ATS is mandatory program for students who are being disciplined for violating school policy.
  • Includes a free facilitator training by ALA staff.
  • The American Lung Association offers a $50 mini-grant per clinic to be used for supplies (refreshments, journals, goody-bags, etc.).  After the ALA receives the needed evaluation packets and paperwork, the facilitators receive a $250 stipend, made possible by the West Virginia Office of Healthy Schools.
  • Evaluation results show that NOT works!
            22% of participants were smoke-free six months after the program ended.
            Of those who continued to smoke, 65% reduced their smoking on
            weekdays, and 75% on weekends.
            85% believed N-O-T helped them alter their smoking behavior. 
            Nearly 90% either quit or reduced their smoking.

"This program has helped me a lot.  I used to smoke almost 2 packs a day, but now I am down to 2 cigarettes a day.  But I am going to go all the way and completely quit."  -Guyan Valley High School Participant

If you are a facilitator and need help talking to school administration to get a NOT group started in your area, please contact Tony Richards by email or call 1-800-LUNGUSA.  ALA staff is ready and willing to talk to anyone to get NOT in West Virginia schools.