The updates to program content are designed to inform students of the risk factors from e-cigarettes, which researchers hope will lead to more critical perceptions of the devices.
"Now, kids think there's no risk in using e-cigarettes, so we want to make sure they understand the dangers involved, not only today but in the future. We want to teach them what e-cigarettes are and change their perceptions of the devices. For example, they don't even know there's such a thing as secondhand vapor," Dr. Gordon said.
The program also will use a methodical, analytical approach to create and test new components. While other programs offer a curriculum comprised of various components that have not fully been tested before dissemination, Drs. Gordon's and Andrews' research team painstakingly will test each program element before implementation.
"Our approach is based on optimized designs where we develop each component and then test it individually to make sure it is effective before it is included in the final program," Dr. Gordon said.
Also, because the program is completely self-contained and delivered online, setting students up with the program is all that teachers need to do. "Our program is 'plug and play,'" Dr. Gordon said. "The intervention is especially effective because it's delivered the same way every single time. It also generates reports, so teachers can monitor student progress and provide optional classroom activities and parent newsletters."
"Click City: Tobacco is a model for how to employ new technology in an engaging way to teach youth about the dangers of tobacco use and other health issues, and positively influence their choices," said UA President Robert C. Robbins, MD. "Dr. Gordon's work is a prime example of the University of Arizona College of Nursing's innovative and successful approaches to health and wellness education. The positive impact will benefit Arizonans and extend well beyond our state's borders."
The original Click City: Tobacco program has been used in schools throughout Oregon, and several other states have expressed interest in using the new program once it becomes available.
"Our goal is to create an effective program that can be used in classrooms across the country to meet their health curriculum requirements and reduce the use of all types of tobacco and vaping products," Dr. Gordon said.