Smokeless Saturday Teen Smoking Program

Smokeless Saturday

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Smokeless Saturday

Smokeless Saturday is an intensive awareness and cessation program for youth found in possession of tobacco and/or nicotine products on school property. Breathe Pennsylvania works with local school administrators, magistrates, and law enforcement to offer Smokeless Saturday as a diversionary program for youth found in possession of tobacco and/or nicotine products on school property. Smokeless Saturday focuses on electronic cigarette/vaping product use and all forms of tobacco use.

Under current Pennsylvania law, students using or possessing tobacco and/or nicotine products at school may be disciplined by school administrators or referred to the local district magistrate for a tobacco citation. A student found in violation of the school tobacco policy may attend Smokeless Saturday in lieu of fine and/or suspension. School policies vary by district. Please reference your local school district policy handbook for additional information.

Smokeless Saturday is a half-day session taught by trained facilitators at 17 community sites throughout western Pennsylvania. Smokeless Saturday gives students the tools to make healthier choices and learn how to quit using tobacco and nicotine products. Students learn about triggers, how to deal with stress, the long-and short-term consequences of tobacco and nicotine use, and how to quit successfully. Over 1100 students are referred to Smokeless Saturday annually.

Education sessions increased student’s knowledge on the dangers of tobacco use and nicotine addiction and how to plan a strategy to quit.

July 2021 through June 2022

Smokeless Saturday Programming by County 2018 – 2019 (n=923)

Smokeless Saturday Students by Grade 2018 – 2019 (n=850)

In the 6 months prior to the session, most students used vape devices, followed by caffeine, alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes. 8% reported using illicit drugs. More than 75% used 2 or more products in the past 6 months. (n=902)

Most of the students who attended Smokeless Saturday in 2018 2019 share a home with someone who also uses. Approximately half plan to quit.

Program Implementation

The Smokeless Saturday program was held in 13 counties throughout western Pennsylvania.

The majority of students attended Smokeless Saturday sessions in the following counties: Allegheny (31%), Westmoreland (13%) and Beaver (10%).

  • Many students from Westmoreland County attended a session in the eastern suburbs of Allegheny County.
  • 17% of students were in grades 6-8, 82% were in grades 9-12, with the most students from grade 10 (27%).
  • 65% of respondents reported that someone in their household also used nicotine products.

Of the 1302 student referred, 923 attended a session, an attendance rate of 71%.

98% of students reported using a tobacco or nicotine product in the past 6 months.

  • Students reported using an average of 3.4 products in the past 6 months.
  • Vapes or electronic cigarettes were the most popular product, with a 94% self-report usage rate in the last 6 months. Caffeine (56%) and alcohol (50%) were also used by over half of the respondents at least 6 months prior to the session.

Approximately half of the students reported that they intend to quit using nicotine products.

Data were collected from the attendees though an on-site student evaluation and a pre and post survey. Breathe Pennsylvania staff invited all students in the sample to complete an online follow-up survey at approximately 6 weeks after their program session.

  • Of those who attended, approximately 850 completed pre and post tests and 923 completed (partially or fully) a post session evaluation. 47 follow-up surveys were completed representing a response rate of 5%.
  • When asked the day of the Smokeless Saturday session, 50% of students “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they planned to quit and 33% were “undecided.” (n=903)
  • When asked about why they want to quit, the most popular reason reported was that it was “bad for my health” followed by “financial reasons,” “not wanting to get into trouble,” it will “shorten my life” and because they “play a sport.”

Education sessions increased student’s knowledge on the dangers of tobacco use and nicotine addiction and how to plan a strategy to quit.

Students’ average score increased significantly by 7 percentage points from pretest to the posttest. (n=850), (t(849)=12.6,p<.001)

Results of a paired t-test showed significant impact of the Smokeless Saturday training on the attendees’ knowledge of the consequences of using tobacco and nicotine products and methods to reduce their use of such products.

Item Analysis of Smokeless Saturday Pre and Post Test (n=850)

An item analysis of the true/false statements indicated that the most change from pre to post session was on an item identifying tobacco as the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.

The program director will be revising question format to be multiple choice for the upcoming year of programming.

Fig A: Nicotine acts upon the brain’s pleasure centers to cause rapid addiction.
Fig B: Teens that vape never become addicted.
Fig C: Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the US.
Fig D: Nicotine reaches the brain 8 to 10 seconds after being inhaled.
Fig E: Signs of nicotine withdrawal include irritability, difficulty paying attention, and increased appetite.
Fig F: One Juul pod has less nicotine than a pack of cigarettes.

Smokeless Saturday Info & Resources

To register and purchase admission for “Smokeless Saturday” please view the “Smokeless Saturday Schedule” to select your desired class location and time. Once you have selected a time please register for “Smokeless Saturday” using the date from the schedule. After you’ve successfully registered you can pay your admission fee by adding it to your cart using the “Add to cart” button.

For more information about Smokeless Saturday, submit your message using the fillable form or contact:

Rebecca Kishlock, BA, CTTS
Director of Tobacco Cessation and Education Programs
P: (724) 772-1750