Project EX

Placement on the Continuum of Evidence Promising Download icon Download PDF
Target Population: 
Alcohol/Drugs/Tobacco, Anger, Emotional Competency, Life Stress
Target Audience 

This program is for high school students who are 14 to 19 years old.


Project EX, a school-based program, is designed to teach students about the environmental, social, psychological, and emotional effects of tobacco use to help participants stop or decrease tobacco use.


In a randomized controlled trial in a non-traditional high school setting, results from a 3-month follow-up indicate that 17% of students participating in the program reported having quit smoking for at least 30 days compared to 8% of students in the control condition, and this was verified by biochemical analysis. Six-month follow-up results from a quasi-experimental trial in a Russian summer camp indicate significantly less cigarette use and higher quit rates in treatment compared to control groups; however, no biochemical analysis was used to confirm these results.


Project EX is implemented in clinics of 8 to 15 students each, and four clinics can operate simultaneously at one school. The clinics are designed to be implemented during school hours. To be eligible for the clinic, students must have used tobacco in the 30 days prior to the first session. Various strategies may be implemented to recruit students to Project EX clinics such as brief classroom presentations by a program facilitator. In addition, schools may offer class credits or class release time, or students may be referred to the program by teachers.

Project EX delivers eight sessions to participants. During the first two sessions, students are facilitated through the quitting process, and the last four sessions help students maintain this status. Students participate in games, mock talk shows, and yoga during sessions. Through these activities, students learn methods for coping with stress, understand how to handle nicotine withdrawal, develop techniques for relaxation, and acquire approaches to avoid relapse. Overall session goals include self-control, anger management, mood management, goal-setting techniques, and self-esteem enhancement.

Previous Use 

This program has been implemented and evaluated in the United States, China, and Russia.


Recommended 1- to 2-day trainings with a trained health education specialist, who has experience with Project EX, are offered on-site or at Project EX headquarters. Training costs depend on location and can range from $1,100 to $1,300 for 1 day or $1,800 to $2,000 for 2 days plus trainer expenses.


Considerations for implementing this program include acquiring teacher and participant buy-in, obtaining program training, acquiring funds for training, and securing a suitable space to implement the program.

The Clearinghouse can help address these considerations. Please call 1-877-382-9185, or email


If you are interested in implementing Project EX, the Clearinghouse is interested in helping you! Please call 1-877-382-9185, or email


The program is implemented in eight 40- to 45-minute sessions for 6 weeks. There are two sessions a week for 2 weeks and one session a week for 4 weeks.


The teacher's manual, with CD, costs $60; a set of five student workbooks costs $35; research articles cost $2.50 each, and the student pretest and posttest cost $2.50 each.

Evaluation Plan 

To move Project EX to the Effective category on the Clearinghouse Continuum of Evidence at least one external evaluation with a strong study design must be conducted that demonstrates sustained, positive outcomes. This study must be conducted independently of the program developer.

The Clearinghouse can help you develop an evaluation plan to ensure the program components are meeting your goals. Please call 1-877-382-9185, or email


Contact the Clearinghouse with any questions regarding this program. Phone: 1-877-382-9185 or by email:

You can also contact Leah Meza by mail USC Institute for Prevention Research, Soto Street Building, 3rd Floor, 2001 N. Soto Street, Los Angeles, CA 90032, phone 1-800-400-8461, fax 1-323-442-7254, email, or visit

*Resources and associated costs reflect those identified at the time of fact sheet publication.