• What is SFJ?

    The Smoke Free Journey (SFJ) targets students in the El Paso Independent School District’s fifteen middle schools. EPISD was awarded a $70,000 grant the Paso Del Norte Foundation. The objectives of this program are to build on students’ skills and behaviors rather than simply increase their knowledge, beliefs, or motivations. This can be achieved by empowering the campuses to make campus wide health decisions for their campus, and through the delivery of updated anti-tobacco curriculum and utilizing the most up-to-date technology.

    Each campus will have a Coordinated School Health Leadership Team (CSHLT) composed of campus stakeholders and the local community. Essentially, it is a mini School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) at the campus level that is modeled after the recommendation made by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CSHLT will be involved in the decision-making process in health issues at the campus level, and in this case specifically smoking.

    The campus CSHLT will be made up of ten to fourteen individuals that include the following:

    • Counselor
    • Cafeteria manager

    The overall goal of the SFJ is to prevent tobacco usage among middle school students. The project is specifically designed to help the students.

    1. Identify reasons why people start using tobacco.
    2. Discover that nonuse of tobacco is normal behaviors for adolescents.
    3. Practice skills for resisting peer pressure to use tobacco.
    4. Recognize the subtle and not-so-subtle messages in tobacco advertising.
    5. Decide on their personal reasons for not using tobacco.

    The intended outcomes are that EPISD middle school adolescents will not begin to use tobacco, will not continue to use tobacco if they have experimented with it, and will influence friends and family not to use tobacco.