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 virtual session taught by Breathe PA trained facilitators. 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.

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

July 2022 through June 2023

Smokeless Saturday Virtual Session Attendence by
County FY 2022-23 (n=715)

In the 2022-23 school year, 88% of Smokeless Saturday
students reported using Vapes and/or Juuls within the
last 6 months, followed by Caffeine (46%) and Puffbars
(30%). 20% reported using cigarettes.

Top Reasons to Quit or Not to Quit as
Reported by Students

Trend data on participants ‘ household
tobacco/nicotine use

Program Implementation

The Smokeless Saturday program was attended virtually by students in 13 counties throughout western Pennsylvania.

Data were collected from the attendees through a session evaluation and a pre and post survey. Breathe Pennsylvania staff invited all students in the sample to complete an online follow-up survey approximately 6 weeks after their program session. Most students attended Smokeless Saturday sessions and reported they lived in Westmoreland (18%), Allegheny (15%) and Butler (11%) counties.

  • Of the 1169 total referrals, 859 students attended a (virtual) Smokeless Saturday session.

80% of the student attendees were in grades 9 through 12, with the most students from grades 9 and 10 (48%).

2021-22 Smokeless Saturday Post Survey Participants by Grade (n=143)

Overall, students reported using approximately 2.2 products in the last 6 months (median=2). Juuls and vapes were the product most often reported as used.
Smokeless Saturday attendees reported using an average of 2.2 products within the last 6 months. Jules and vapes were the most popular product, with an 84% self-report usage rate in the last 6 months. This year’s data continues a decreasing trend of amount of products used, with the following percentage of attendees reporting using a vape or electronic cigarette in the past 6 months:

  • 85% of the 2020-21 Smokeless Saturday attendees
  • 90% of the 2019-2020 (in-person) Smokeless Saturday attendees
  • 94% of 2018-2019 Smokeless Saturday attendees
Menthol was the most often reported flavor used among students reporting Juul/vape use in the last 6 months.
When asked what flavor Juuls or vapes they had used if they had done so in the last 6 months, menthol was the flavor most often reported by students (76%), followed by fruit (41%), mango (35%) and mint (34%) (n=103).

  • These data are similar to the distribution of flavors reported by students in 2020-21
More than three-quarters of the students reported that they planned to quit using nicotine products.
When asked the day of the Smokeless Saturday session, 78% of students “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they planned to quit. (n=147). This is like data from the 2020-21 student survey (77%).

  • When asked about why they want to quit, the most popular reason reported was that it was “bad for my health” followed by “it [tobacco/nicotine] will shorten my life” and “I don’t want to get into trouble” (see chart on cover page).
  • 52% of respondents reported that someone in their household also used nicotine products, a reduction of over 10% from 2020-21 student survey data.
  • When asked if they would ask someone to quit within the next 3 months, 53% of respondents indicated they would do so. (n=146)
More than half of the students reported that they were “very” or “extremely motivated” to quit using nicotine products.
When asked the day of the Smokeless Saturday session, 54% of students reported their motivation levels toward quitting as “very” or “extremely motivated” (n=147).

  • Only 5% of students reported no motivation to quit.

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

Results of statistical test did not indicate a 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.

Smokeless Saturday offered online only classes and surveys, including the pre and posttest, throughout 2021-21. The evaluation team was able to match 71 pre and post tests for the purpose of running a t-test to determine the statistical significance of the average students’ test scores before and after the session.

  • Students’ average posttest score increased 5 percentage points from the pre-test after completing the Smokeless Saturday session (61% to 65%).
  • The difference was not statistically significant (n=71) (t(70) =1.79,p=NS)

Item Analysis of Smokeless Saturday Pre and Post Test 

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:

Alison Garcia
Program Associate
P: (724) 772-1750