Middle School Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) to Evaluate E-Cigarette Prevention Program: CATCH My Breath

  • End date
    Mar 1, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
Updated on 6 April 2022
Accepts healthy volunteers


This is a two-arm, cluster randomized trial designed to to evaluate the effectiveness of an e-cigarette curriculum [called the CATCH My Breath (CMB) program] in delaying the onset of e-cigarette use in middle schoolers. Schools will be assigned to either the CMB program or usual care, which is Texas Education Agency (TEA) required tobacco prevention program. 10 schools will be assigned to each arm arm, and each school will include 70 students in the study, for a total of 700 students per arm and 1400 total students in the study. Both programs will be administered to participating students over 3 years.


The goal of this research is to empirically assess the three year immediate effects and 12 year follow-up of the CATCH My Breath (CMB) program on delaying the onset of e-cigarette use with a 6th-9th grade cohort, using a 20-school group randomized controlled trial (RCT), with 1,400 students. E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product by US youth. Recent research, strongly suggests that youth who only smoke e-cigarettes exhibit symptoms of addiction, and are more likely to experiment combustible tobacco. Unfortunately, few e-cigarette prevention programs exist, and none have been tested for longer-term efficacy. Although some tobacco prevention programs have included an e-cigarette add -on component, to our knowledge, none of these revised programs have been formally evaluated. The lack of e-cigarette specific program content, and lack of rigorous evaluation, warrants the proposed project. CMB was developed with input from school administrators, health education coordinators, tobacco prevention educators, classroom teachers, students, and parents. CMB has been formatively evaluated and pilot tested at 59 middle schools in 7 states, resulting in positive feedback from over 100 middle school teachers and 9,578 6th-8th grade students. Our second pilot pretest-posttest controlled experiment (2017-2018), and resulted in an treatment-control difference of 3.8% in ever smoking over a 16-month period. Given CMB's current popularity with schools as a 'best practice' program, and with initial positive results, a full scale randomized control trial is needed to determine longer term, 6th-9th grade efficacy.

Condition E-cigarette Use
Treatment CATCH My Breath (CMB) program for E-cigarette prevention among adolescents, Texas Education Agency (TEA) required tobacco prevention program
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04843501
SponsorThe University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
Last Modified on6 April 2022


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Inclusion Criteria

ability to communicate in English or Spanish
caretaker of a 6th-grade child

Exclusion Criteria

inability to communicate in English or Spanish
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