sealPurdue Education & Career Briefs

October 1996

Study: Two-pronged effort can cut smoking deaths by 40%

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- School-based anti-smoking programs, complemented by similar programs in the community, can reduce premature smoking-related deaths by 40 percent, according to a computer simulation.

Purdue University's James G. Anderson and researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine predict those results based on a computer simulation model they developed to analyze the effectiveness of four types of smoking interventions for persons up to 25 years of age. The model projects how much each program would cut smoking-related deaths as the individuals aged. The researchers based the study on a population of about 80,000 youths and the current number of smoking-related deaths in various age groups.

The program must last at least a year to be effective, Anderson says.

"Basically, you want the anti-smoking push to come from more than one source," he says. "What you need is classroom education as well as community-awareness programs."

The next most effective method was a school-based program that helps adolescents become aware of how cigarettes are marketed to them. It cut the rate of smoking-related deaths by 34 percent.

The least effective methods were brief counseling by physicians on the harmful effects of tobacco products, and active enforcement of tobacco laws to prevent the sale of cigarettes to minors. These two methods reduced deaths by 2.5 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

"Smoking-related death is one of the most preventable health problems," says Anderson, professor of medical sociology. "If we can prevent young people from starting to smoke, or get them to stop smoking early, it will have a huge payoff in saving lives and cutting health care costs."

Approximately 18 percent of all health care costs in the United States are related to smoking, as is one in five deaths, Anderson says.

"Each year approximately one million teen-agers become nicotine-dependent cigarette smokers," he says. "For those who become regular smokers, about one-half will die prematurely of smoking-related diseases. A lot of people don't realize that people begin dying in their 30s from smoking-related diseases such as emphysema, asthma and cancer."

Ninety percent of smokers begin the habit before 25 years of age, with most of that group beginning between 15 and 19 years, Anderson says. By age 19, one-fifth of the population smokes.

The study was presented at a conference called Simulation in Medical Sciences, sponsored by the Society for Computer Simulation. The study was funded by the IU School of Medicine.

CONTACT: Anderson, (765) 494-4703; e-mail:

Parents and teachers differ in defining school readiness

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Copies of the 80-page publication are available for $6 from the American Educational Research Association, Publication Sales, at (202) 223-9485.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Determining when a child is ready to start kindergarten differs between parents and teachers and from school to school, says the head of the Purdue University Department of Child Development and Family Studies.

"Readiness entails more than a set of skills, knowledge and attitudes that a child brings to school," says Douglas Powell, author of a publication for the American Educational Research Association called "Enabling Young Children to Succeed in School." He says research shows that early childhood programs, schools and families are key influences on school success. Community support for health and physical development and family well-being also are considered important.

Powell says parents tend to view academic skills, like knowing how to count and recite the alphabet, as important prerequisites for entrance to kindergarten -- more so than teachers. For instance, in a study based on a national survey, 59 percent of parents compared to 7 percent of kindergarten teachers thought that it was essential for a child entering kindergarten to be able to count to 20 or more.

Assessment tests also are a poor means of determining school readiness. He says young children are not used to taking tests, they lose interest quickly and can undergo rapid changes in development.

Age also has proven fruitless in predicting later school success. "Research has not identified an ideal age for entering kindergarten, because there is considerable variability in children's development and in the expectations of kindergarten classrooms," Powell says.

Factors that have proven successful in determining the success of a child in school include participation in high-quality early childhood programs; schools that provide diverse rather than homogeneous learning experiences; parents who provide support and proper child-rearing behaviors; and communities where adequate health-care, nutrition and other support services are available.

CONTACT: Powell, (765) 494-9511; e-mail:

New turfgrass center is in the green

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A color rendering of the new North Course and a color photo of Clark Throssell and Zac Reicher examining a plug pulled from a putting green are available from Purdue News Service (765) 494-2096.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A new Purdue golf course complex and Turfgrass Research and Diagnostic Center is a hole-in-one for students who will use the center as a living laboratory.

The center is being built adjacent to Purdue's 18-hole North Golf Course, which will undergo a major renovation beginning with a groundbreaking ceremony Oct. 18.

Work on the turfgrass center began this summer and is expected to be completed by the time the new golf course opens in 1998.

The first comprehensive turfgrass research facility in the country, the center will be a teaching aid for students in turf management. Students will be able to see first-hand the damage from the misapplication of chemicals or various plant diseases. "The great thing is that after they hear the lecture in the classroom, students can step right out the door and do hands-on work on the research plots," says Clark Throssell, associate professor of agronomy and co-director of the center. "This will greatly increase the students' comprehension of what we are teaching."

In addition to the outdoor research plots, the turf researchers also plan to use two of the golf course's fairways as "green" classrooms.

"One of the holes on the new North Golf Course will be set up so that it has two fairways that use a single set of tees and a single green," Throssell says. "That will allow us to shut down one of the fairways at certain times so that researchers or students can get out there to examine the results of their research."

In addition, the new facility will allow more students to enroll in turf science, a major in the School of Agriculture. At present, about 65 undergraduate students are in the program. Most graduates go to work as golf course superintendents.

The $6.5 million golf course/turfgrass center project will be financed totally with private funds.

CONTACTS: Throssell, (765) 494-4785; e-mail,

Zac Reicher, center co-director, (765) 494-9809; e-mail,

To order the text of a news release about the turfgrass center, send an e-mail that says "send punews 9510a7" to this address:

New logos make Purdue Boilermakers more visible

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics has developed a new series of logos that give a visual boost to the Boilermakers.

Other Big Ten schools have changed their logos, also called marks, but Purdue is one of the first to add several secondary and word marks, says Bob Bernard, Purdue athletic marketing director. Secondary and word marks are those developed in addition to the main logo.

Bernard says: "The new logos are a response to increasing demand for licensed Purdue merchandise. We expect them to revitalize our merchandising campaign. Rather than replacing any of our current familiar marks -- like Purdue Pete and the Boilermaker Special -- we are adding a series of new logos that build on and enhance the old ones."

Morgan Burke, Purdue athletic director, says: "The new logos give Purdue a more progressive and modern visual identity. Our men's basketball team won its third consecutive Big Ten title this year, and many of our other sports also are increasing in stature. The new logos are a complement to our efforts to build a national reputation for Purdue athletics."

More than 20 companies that specialize in commercial merchandise have been given first rights to license the 12 new logos. Some of the leading makers of apparel, glassware and novelty items are represented, including Starter, Champion Products, Midwest Embroidery and Logo 7.

All the new logos are controlled under a licensing program administered by The Collegiate Licensing Co., Atlanta. Vendors that want to sell merchandise with the Purdue logos must go through the company and pay a licensing fee.

The primary logo in the new series resembles the university's locomotive mascot, the Boilermaker Special.

CONTACTS: Burke, (765) 494-3189;

Bernard, (765) 494-8487

To order the text of a news release about the new logos, send an e-mail that says "send punews 9604f55" to this address:

Compiled by Ellen Rantz, (765) 494-2073; e-mail,
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

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