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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


GARCIA-VAZQUEZ, José et al. Evaluation of a schoolbased intervention to promote smokefree areas. Gac Sanit [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.1, pp.23-28. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To determine the effect of an intervention in secondary schools on visible tobacco use, the prevalence and intensity of smoking, and the attitudes and behaviors of teachers and students. Methods: We performed a quasiexperimental study in 18 public secondary schools that carried out the program and in 18 that did not (control group). Information was obtained on visible tobacco use and the number of ashtrays and smokefree posters through direct observation. Data were collected on tobacco use, the number of heavy smokers, smoking in schools, opinions on smokefree schools, smoking in front of the students, and attempts to quit smoking through questionnaires to teachers and students in the third year of compulsory secondary education (15-year-olds) and in the final year of secondary school (18-year-olds). Results: Visible tobacco use was lower in the intervention group (27.9 vs. 45.6%) and twice as many posters were displayed. No differences were found in the prevalence of daily tobacco use, but the percentage of heavy smokers was lower in teachers and students in the intervention group. Smoking was lower in students in the third year of compulsory secondary education in schools carrying out the program. Opinions about smokefree schools were favorable in both groups. Conclusions: The program contributed to reducing visible tobacco use and in decreasing the number of heavy smokers among teachers and students.

Keywords : Smoking; Schools; Prevalence; Program evaluation; Effectiveness; Health promotion.

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