Media-based youth e-cig prevention toolkit for community-based organizations

Period of Performance: 03/01/2017 - 02/28/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

KDH Research and Communication, Inc.
Principal Investigator


KDH Research & Communication (KDHRC) submits this Fast Track SBIR proposal to develop and evaluate AVOID (Anti-Vaping Online Information Dissemination), a media-based online toolkit to support community-based organizations? (CBO) prevention programming against youth e-cigarette (e-cig) use. Youth e-cig use, also known as ?vaping,? is a rapidly growing public health threat, with use among high school students tripling from 2013 to 2014 and incidence rates rising. E-cigs are lithium battery?powered devices with a heating element that turns a liquid, generally containing nicotine, into an aerosol for the user to inhale. E-cigs deliver nicotine, which is highly addictive and negatively affects the developing teen brain. E-cigs also contain chemicals implicated in other negative health outcomes like ?popcorn lung? and possible genotoxicity and neurotoxicity. The bright colors and sweet flavors, combined with aggressive and unrestricted marketing campaigns, make e-cigs particularly attractive and normalized to youth. There are strong calls from government, researchers, and advocacy groups to develop e-cig?specific youth prevention efforts. AVOID will be the first to meet these calls. Youth-serving CBOs? will deliver AVOID. At AVOID?s core will be five broadcast-quality, public service announcement?like brief educational videos (BEVs) for youth ages 12-16. The BEVs will build youths? knowledge, heighten perceived risk, promote protective attitudes, and decrease future intentions to use e-cigs. Linked discussion guides (DG) will support CBO programming. Web-based promotion will provide AVOID fluidity to nimbly address an emerging public health issue by updating the AVOID materials as new research emerges and regulations change. The content and evaluation of AVOID will be theory-driven, blending health communication and prevention theories to provide conceptual innovation and a solid foundation for memorable messaging that supports behavior change. In Phase I, we will create storyboards of one BEV and write its corresponding DG. To establish feasibility, we will copy test the storyboards to explore the relationship between BEV exposure and youth outcomes. In Phase II, we will create and copy test four additional BEVs, write their corresponding DGs, and program the entire AVOID online toolkit. A randomized controlled trial will explore the efficacy of the AVOID toolkit when implemented in youth-serving CBOs. Our market research suggests a significant need and eager market, and support from five statewide tobacco control programs, myriad CBOs, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, representatives from Boys and Girls Club of America, Drug-Free Communities, and Partnership for Drugfree Kids further substantiate AVOID?s programmatic importance and commercial potential.