Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

School Based Smoking Prevention: Popular Peers Can Help

Drug and Alcohol Findings has this interesting looking study:

A UK study successfully harnessed respected peers to prevent smoking, but not through classroom activities. Instead the 12-13-year-olds simply exerted their influence in normal social interactions with same-age school mates.

The results suggest that in the schools that took part a fifth fewer pupils had smoked in the last week. As you might expect the impact did fade over time, and was much more successful in small communities than in towns and cities where there doesn’t seem to have been a statistically significant impact.

In terms of practice the article argues:

It does have the great advantage of not occupying classroom teaching time, always in short supply. This means such initiatives can (as in the study) supplement rather than displace classroom drug education and leave this (as some teachers argue should be the case) to focus on education rather than prevention, but at the cost of funding external staff and venues. Such work could however be incorporated within existing youth work projects, reducing the costs, and usefully placing these projects in contact with the most influential youngsters in their areas.

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Filed under: peer education, tobacco

One Response

  1. […] document also highlights the ASSIST smoking education programme which we’ve also been following.  Here’s the case study from the strategy: The local authority in Bristol is using peer […]

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