Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE)

The TUPE Program, funded by the TUPE Grant, is designed to raise awareness about the harmful physical, social, and environmental effects of tobacco use among our youth population; however, information is also provided to staff and parents in an effort to help students process the information that they learn so that supportive efforts can be continually reinforced and maintained in social and school settings, as well as within the family structure. The various components of the TUPE Program are as follows:

Botvin Life Skills lessons are research-validated curricula that are taught to all students in grades 6-9. The lessons scaffold from one grade level to the next in order to increase skill-building techniques for age-appropriate development. The lessons include, but are not limited to myths and realities of smoking, smoking and biofeedback, causes and effects of drug use, effective decision-making skills, self-image, peer refusal skills, risk-taking assessments, media influences, anger-coping skills, stress/anxiety recognition and/or management skills, social skills, assertive communication skills, and conflict resolution skills.

Guiding Good Choices, a class for parents of children between grades 5-9, promotes the building of family connections through interactive and open dialogue between parents and their children. This program helps parents and their children to develop proactive tobacco and other drug refusal skills and to create protective barriers within the family to help children refrain from engaging in at-risk behaviors. The program is free to parents/guardians whose children attend school within the San Diego Unified School District. Classes are conducted in English and Spanish and free child-care is available. Please review the Counseling and Guidance website for future class times and locations.

Substance Use Intervention Groups are facilitated at school sites throughout the district for students who have been found under the influence, or in possession, of tobacco and/or other drug substances. The curriculum focuses on the harmful physical, social, emotional and financial effects of tobacco use, along with the interpersonal and educational damage that is caused by the use of tobacco and other drug substances. Students may be referred to the group for disciplinary reasons to waive one or more days of suspension for tobacco and/or other drug use; or they may attend group sessions voluntarily when referred by parents/guardians, school counselors, site administrators, or themselves.

Booster lessons are one-day presentations that are delivered to students by School Counselors from the TUPE Program in grades 9-12 to help reinforce the Botvin curriculum that was taught at earlier grade-levels. The lessons are as follows:

  • Grade 9: Sexual Harassment Prevention
  • Grade 10: Tobacco Use Prevention
  • Grade 11: Project Life: Tobacco Use Prevention
  • Grade 12: Alcohol Use Prevention


Teens Kick Ash and the Prevention is Cool Anti-Tobacco Journalism Events are one day district-wide activities that are conducted in the Fall and Spring semesters respectively, and are hosted by the TUPE Office.

The Teens Kick Ash Workshop Event is held in October of each school year in recognition of, and preparation for, the Great American Smokeout, which occurs on the third Thursday of every November. Students from middle and high schools throughout San Diego County collaborate about anti-tobacco-related events that have occurred at their school sites in the past and they brainstorm about activities that they plan to develop on their campuses for the current year. Presenters such as MAD Science, the Garbage Crew, and Peer Educators from Patrick Henry High School are on hand to deliver anti-tobacco messages to students in an informative and fun-filled manner. Students receive prizes and Certificates of Leadership for their participation in the event.

The Prevention is Cool Anti-Tobacco Journalism Event is held in March of each school year in recognition, and preparation for, Kick Butts Day, which occurs on March 31. Students from Journalism, ASB, AVID, and English classes are invited to hear anti-tobacco messages delivered by expert panelists from local community agencies about the harmful effects of tobacco use. Topics include, but are not limited to: The latest trends in tobacco use, laws and ordinances for tobacco use in San Diego County, tobacco marketing strategies aimed toward youth, environmental and health effects of secondhand smoke, and the dangers involved with flavored and spit tobacco use. Students are allowed to have Q & A sessions with presenters so that they can report their findings in their schools' newspapers and bulletins. Students receive prizes and Certificates of Leadership for their participation in the event.