Intervening with Teen Tobacco Users (TEG)



A Positive Alternative to Suspension

This comprehensive, 8-session educational program is for students in grades 7 through 12 who don't want to stop using tobacco. This may include teens who violate school policy or community ordinances on underage tobacco use. Many schools use Intervening With Teen Tobacco Users (TEG) as a positive alternative to suspension and as a diversion program for juvenile courts.

Based on Prochaska and DiClemente's stages of change, Intervening With Teen Tobacco Users (TEG) is designed to move teenage tobacco users from not wanting to quit to wanting to quit. Through videos, demonstrations, and cooperative learning, teenage tobacco users learn about the negative consequences of tobacco use. They gain the knowledge, motivation, and action steps to move toward a healthier, tobacco-free lifestyle. Participants are encouraged to reduce their tobacco use, quit on their own, or join a voluntary tobacco cessation program.


Program Goals:
  • To move participants through the stages of change from precontemplation or contemplation to preparation
  • To provide information on the processes and effects of tobacco use
  • To provide a positive alternative to suspension for schools and a diversion program for juvenile courts
  • To motivate participants to adopt healthier lifestyles
  • To motivate participants to join a tobacco cessation group.

Where Does This Program Take Place?

Since Intervening With Teen Tobacco Users (TEG) is often a mandatory program, it may take place at a less convenient time and location than a voluntary cessation program. For instance, the program may take place at school, a law enforcement center, a hospital, or another central location.


How Many Sessions Are There, How Long Do They Last and When Do They Take Place?

Intervening With Teen Tobacco Users (TEG) consist of eight, 40- to 60-minute sessions with optional booster sessions. Examples of program implementation include:

  • After school for 1 hour, Monday through Thursday, for 2 weeks
  • After school for 2 hours, Monday through Thursday, for 1 week, two 4-hour Saturday morning "Breakfast Clubs" on the 2nd and 3rd Saturday each month
  • Two, 4-hour Friday evenings on the 2nd and 3rd Friday of each month.

Who Facilitates Intervening With Teen Tobacco Users (TEG)
  • School Personnel: School nurse, health educator, police liaison officer (school resource officer), classroom teacher, assistant principal, guidance counselor, school social worker, student assistance coordinator, chemical health specialist, and others
  • Health Care Providers: Registered nurse, nurse practitioner, respiratory therapist, chemical dependency treatment, therapist, social worker, psychologist, public health educator, public health nurse, dental hygienist, hypnotherapist, and other concerned health care professionals
  • Law Enforcement/Probation/Juvenile Court: Law enforcement officer, probation officer, and police/school liaison officer (school resource officer)
  • Other: Youth worker, religious leader, parent, coach.

Cessation Endpoint

Intervening With Teen Tobacco Users (TEG) is not designed for participants to have a cessation endpoint, but move them to the stage of change to learn how to quit when they are ready.


Type of Intervention

Most youth join the program as a result of a school tobacco use policy violation or MIP (Minor in Possession of Tobacco).