emphasis on supportive environments or “nurturance” and positive reinforcement for prosocial behavior.

  • Acceptance and encouragement in family, school, and community environments are more effective and desirable than confrontation or coercion.

  • Such techniques as praise notes, peer-to-peer tutoring, and caregiver training can help facilitate the creation of nurturing environments.

  • Adequate sleep, diet, and exercise, and television viewing limits can contribute to positive health outcomes.

Principles such as these can be adopted in home, school, and community environments and need not be attached to specific prevention programs. Communication of the importance of these principles can reinforce desirable behavior, minimize aversiveness, contribute to healthy development, and help promote a societal norm supportive of positive development. As with any interventions, empirical evaluation is also needed on how this information can be communicated to parents, teachers, caregivers, policy makers, and prevention practitioners and whether the communication of such information can have the same benefits that communications about smoking have had in reducing tobacco use.

Public Policy

Public policy changes made a significant contribution to the success of the tobacco control movement (Institute of Medicine, 2007b). Based on growing evidence of the harm of environmental tobacco smoke, tobacco control advocates have been able to push for local and state laws restricting smoking. Smoke-free laws dramatically reduce workplace exposure to noxious chemicals. Such laws also lead to reductions in smoking among workers in the affected establishments. Thus, workers in smoke-free workplaces are 3.8 percent more likely to quit smoking than are workers in workplaces that are not smoke free. Continuing smokers working in smoke-free environments reduce their daily cigarette consumption by an average of 3.1 cigarettes (Fichtenberg and Glantz, 2002).

Public policy has also been a significant contributor to reductions in alcohol use and abuse. Taxation of beer, which increases its price, has been shown to reduce alcohol consumption among young people, especially those who are heavy drinkers (Biglan, Brennan, et al., 2004). Increasing the drinking age from 18 to 21 also has a well-documented impact on alcohol-related auto crash fatalities (Wagenaar and Toomey, 2002). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that increasing the drinking age from 18 to 21 saved 17,359 lives between 1975 and 1997. Pentz, Jasuja, and colleagues (2006) similarly argues that policies related to drug

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