"Just Say No" is a widely promoted public health campaign initiated in the United States by former First Lady Nancy Reagan in the 1980s. It emerged from a National Institutes of Health–supported substance abuse prevention research program pioneered in the 1970s by University of Houston Social Psychology Professor Dr. Richard I. Evans and his research group. Evans's social inoculation model encompassed "inoculating" students with skills to resist peer pressure and other social influences. "Just Say No" was among the resistance skills recommended in response to low peer pressure, and Nancy Reagan's campaign proved to be a useful dissemination of this social inoculation strategy.
RICHARD I. EVANS
Evans, R. I. (1998). "An Historical Perspective on Effective Prevention." In Cost-Benefit/Cost-Effectiveness Research on Drug Abuse Prevention: Implications for Programming and Policy, eds. W. J. Bukoski and R. I. Evans. National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Monograph Series No. 176, NIH Publication no. 98–4021. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.