Tobacco and Alcohol Use and the Impact of School Based Antitobacco Education for Knowledge Enhancement among Adolescent Students of Rural Kerala, India
UNLABELLED This study aimed to assess the effect of a short school-based anti-smoking program on the knowledge, attitude and practice of cigarette smoking among students in secondary schools in Lagos State. SUBJECTS AND METHODS A non-randomized, controlled intervention study was done among respondents selected using multi-stage sampling. Baseline data was collected using self-administered questionnaires. An anti-smoking awareness programme was carried out among students in the intervention group using health talks, information leaflets and posters. Post-intervention data collection took place three months later. RESULTS There were significant increments in the mean knowledge and attitude scores after the intervention. There was however no statistically significant change in the current smoking habits of respondents (4% vs. 3%; p=0.41)in the intervention group. Nevertheless, in the intervention group, the number of never- smokers who reported that they were likely to initiate cigarette smoking within the next year significantly reduced. There was also a significant increase in the proportion of current smokers who desired to quit smoking. CONCLUSION Even brief anti-smoking programs of this nature are effective at improving the knowledge and modifying the attitude of the respondents but do not improve smoking habits. It however motivated the desire to quit among current smokers. Health education sessions and periodic anti-smoking programmes should be introduced into the secondary school curriculum. More intensive approaches may be needed to influence the smoking behaviour of adolescent smokers.