Area middle schools begin tobacco prevention curriculum

With a new school year in full effect the Tobacco Prevention Specialists Quincy Bonilla and Rafael Cepeda from the UNIDAD Tobacco Prevention and Control Coalition at Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas are looking forward to implementing Project Towards No Tobacco Use (Project TNT), an evidence-based curriculum, at La Joya ISD and PSJA ISD middle school campuses.

By the conclusion of project TNT, students should be able to state accurate information about the course of tobacco-related addiction and disease, the consequences of using or not using tobacco, and the actual prevalence of tobacco use among peers. This research based curriculum will aid students to demonstrate active listening skills, assertive refusal skills, effective communication, general assertive skills, self-esteem building techniques, and tobacco-use-specific cognitive coping skills.

Prevention of tobacco use among teens is not a casual business or fruitless endeavor- we can prevent deaths from occurring. Project Towards No tobacco use is a prevention program that works. If other middle schools in Hidalgo County want to incorporate this free curriculum in their campus they could call 956-787-0004 for more information.

UNIDAD TPCC is a coalition effort of Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas, located in Pharr, Texas. The Coalition was established to empower Hidalgo County to affect individual and social change through cooperation, sharing and coordination of resources focused on preventing and reducing the illegal and harmful use of tobacco products. The TPCC’s goals are to prevent tobacco use among young people, promote compliance and support adequate enforcement of federal, state, and local tobacco laws, increase cessation among young people and adults, eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke, reduce tobacco use among populations with the highest burden of tobacco-related health disparities, develop and maintain statewide capacity for comprehensive tobacco prevention and control.

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