Supporting Tailored Approaches to Reducing Tobacco

Decreasing breast cancer incidence with gender-sensitive health messaging

Supporting Tailored Approaches
START - How does it developSTART LogoSTART is a program of research dedicated to developing health messages and other strategies for adolescents to address the issue of tobacco exposure and the risk of developing breast cancer. Smoking, often initiated during adolescence, is a modifiable risk factor for cancer. Breast tissue, in the growth stage during puberty, is highly sensitive to carcinogens, such as toxins from tobacco smoke. The START program team developed and evaluated health messaging for adolescent girls and boys in the form of infographics and YouTube videos. There is also information available for parents and teachers on the START website.

Research Team: Joan Bottorff, Chris Richardson, Rebecca Hains-Saah, Pamela Ratner, Laura Bissell, Laura Struik, Rachel Graham, Caroline Gotay, Jennifer Schwartz, Kenneth Johnson, John Oliffe, Peter Hutchinson, Jodie Stevens
Funding: Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

Selected publications:

Bottorff, J. L., Struik, L. L., Bissell, L. J. L., Graham, R., Stevens, J., & Richardson, C. G. (2014). A social media approach to inform youth about breast cancer and smoking: An exploratory descriptive study. Collegian: The Australian Journal of Nursing Practice, Scholarship and Research, 21(2), 159-168. doi:10.1016/j.colegn.2014.04.002

Schwartz, J., Bottorff, J. L., Ratner, P. A., Gotay, C., Johnson, K. C., Memetovic, J., & Richardson, C.G. (2014). Effect of internet-delivered messages on girls’ knowledge and risk perceptions related to cigarette smoke and breast cancer: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 3(3), e35. doi:10.2196/resprot.3282

Bottorff, J. L., Haines-Saah, R., Oliffe, J. L., Struik, L. L., Bissell, L. J. L., Richardson, C. P., Gotay, C., Johnson, K. C., & Hutchinson, P. (2014). Designing tailored messages about smoking and breast cancer: A focus group with youth. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 46(1), 66-86.

Visit the START Website to learn more about the project and access videos, infographics and other resources for teens, parents and teachers.