An alarmingly high number of children become addicted to tobacco use. To teach children the skills to resist the influences surrounding the initiation of tobacco and other drug use, a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program is being implemented in three fourths of the schools in the United States. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of this program in preventing smoking. A survey was conducted among 236 fifth and sixth graders in Nashville, Tennessee. Of the students included in the survey, 88% graduated from D.A.R.E. Approximately 11.6% of respondents had ever smoked cigarettes; 86% of them continued to smoke. The D.A.R.E. group had a significantly lower rate of smoking compared with their non-D.A.R.E. counterparts (8.7% vs. 28.0%; p = 0.0001). Logistic regression analysis shows that the D.A.R.E. group was five times (odds 4.9; p = 0.003; 95% Cl: 1.7,14.0) less likely to initiate smoking compared with the non-D.A.R.E. group. The D.A.R.E. group had a significantly (p = 0.002) higher knowledge score on the risk of smoking. The knowledge score has strong opposite correlation to smoking behavior (p = 0.00001). Students with top-quartile knowledge scores had a substantially lower rates of smoking (1.4% vs. 14.4%; p = 0.001). This finding is consistent for both African-American (0% vs. 19.6%; p = 0.001) and white children (1.9% vs. 13%; p = 0.001). The D.A.R.E. program may have an impact in preventing the initiation of smoking behavior. (J Natl Med Assoc. 2002;94:249-256.).