Vaping PPW Improves Middle School Youth Health Behaviors in Camden, SC

Prevention specialists at ALPHA Behavioral Health Center in Camden, SC implemented the Vaping Prevention Plus Wellness program during the spring semester, 2022 to 128 adolescents in local middle school classes (56% male, 52% 14 years old). 

Pretest to posttest survey results showed there was an increase in intentions to engage in daily healthy behaviors in the future, including: 

  • Physical activity (7%),
  • Eating fruits and vegetables (11%),
  • Eating a healthy breakfast (11%),
  • Getting 8 or more hours of sleep (8%),
  • Practicing stress control/relaxation (7%), and
  • Setting goals to improve health or fitness (6%). 

There were also fewer intentions to drink any alcohol (6%) and try non-medical opioids (10%) in the future. 

There was an increase in perceived harmfulness of using any of the following for damaging their health or healthy behaviors: 

  • Marijuana (6%),
  • E-cigarettes (6%), and
  • Non-medical opioids (8%). 

At posttest, most youth said they were “likely” or “very likely” to engage in the following health-promoting behaviors most days in the next year: 

  • 91% physical activity,
  • 61% 8 or more hours sleep,
  • 79% eat fruits and vegetables,
  • 52% eat a healthy breakfast,
  • 51% practice stress control/relaxation, and
  • 80% set goals to improve their health or fitness. 

At posttest, most youth said they were “unlikely” or “very unlikely” to try any of the of the following substances in the next year: 

  • 85% alcohol,
  • 91% cigarettes,
  • 85% marijuana,
  • 82% e-cigarettes, and
  • 91% non-medical opioids. 

Participating adolescents’ comments after receiving the Vaping PPW program were supportive and reinforced the quantitative findings, including: 

  • I really liked learning about all the healthy habits that I can pick up in the future.
  • The lesson made me not want to vape by telling reasons why it is harmful outside the obvious.
  • Made me not want to try any drugs/e-cigs.
  • Steered me away from not ever doing e-cigarettes.
  • It motivated me to have my goals set like getting more sleep.
  • It was fun.
  • Self-esteem.
  • Learning about different ways to be healthy.
  • The discussion about the sports and what other ones we should try. 

We are so grateful to the outstanding prevention professionals at the ALPHA Behavioral Health Center for their successful implementation of the Vaping Prevention Plus Wellness program. 

The results above indicate ALPHA’s hard work providing the Vaping PPW program resulted in improving the health and fitness behaviors of middle school youth in the Camden, SC region.    

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