What is your signature innovation in one sentence?
ASPIRE (A Smoking Prevention Interactive Experience) uses a multimedia approach to educate and train adolescents in adopting tobacco-free lifestyles.
Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?
ASPIRE uses a multimedia approach which includes: interactive activities, videos, animation, and visually appealing graphics, to capture the interest of adolescents, and to educate them on the health risks of smoking and using tobacco. Offering "customized" messages, ASPIRE focuses on both the smoker and the non-smoker. Through interactive exercises, the participant identifies their status as a smoker, or a non-smoker, in order to receive information that is relevant. The customization of "individual" messages is a differentiating factor. The web-based program is self-led and does not require time from either teachers or parents. The ASPIRE web site evolved from the evidence-based ASPIRE curriculum that demonstrated results in decreasing tobacco use in schools that implemented the ASPIRE curriculum program.
What barriers exist that are creating the problem your innovation is hoping to address/change?
There is a need for age appropriate smoking cessation and prevention programs based on the following:
*Marketing activities of big tobacco companies have not been countered with stronger smoking prevention and cessation efforts
*Teenage smokers are reluctant to identify themselves
*Smoking prevention and cessation programs fail to account for individual differences
*Existing programs fail to use the computer and electronic media technology to attract today's youth
Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing.
ASPIRE, a web-based smoking prevention and cessation program, counters the "myths" of smoking offered by the big tobacco companies, and offers "facts" about the health risks associated with smoking.
The facts are:
*Tobacco is the single chief avoidable cause of death
*There is one death from tobacco every eight seconds
*Each cigarette shortens a smoker's life by 11 minutes
*Each day 80,000 to 100,000 young people become addicted to tobacco
*Smoking even one cigarette per day could be a sign of addiction
*Smoking drains $157 billion in medical costs and lost productivity
*Smoking kills approximately 440,000 Americans each year
Using a web-based program enables information to be disseminated to a world-wide audience and to be more easily updated. Tobacco use continues to have a physical, emotional and social impact on people around the world whether they are smokers or non-smokers. One-third of the cancers could be reduced by quitting tobacco use.
How do you plan to scale your innovation?
Presently, we are investigating web development, dependent upon funding, in order to offer enhanced navigation tools, a new user interface, updated facts and figures, new graphics and artwork, and updated media modules. The new modules will address the health risks associated with smokeless tobacco and the influence of the movie industry, with adolescents, by showing smoking in the movies. There is a constant need to update and refresh information in order to counter the current marketing activities of the big tobacco companies. Smoking in the movies influences adolescents to smoke. In the real world, smoking kills. We need to continue to communicate, inform, and educate adolescents about the health risks associated with smoking. ASPIRE has demonstrated success and we need to build upon that success and continue to expand the web site to assist adolescents with their effort to quit, and to prevent adolescents who presently do not smoke, not to start smoking.