Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Parents who quit smoking and their adult children’s smoking cessation: a 20-year follow-up study

Research (via the SHEU) which looks at parent’s influence on children’s smoking behaviour found that:

parents’ early smoking cessation has a long-term influence on their adult children’s smoking cessation. Parents who smoke should be encouraged to quit when their children are young.

Filed under: research, tobacco, USA

Counterfeit tobacco warning

If, as the report from the Centre for Public Health about young people’s smoking in the North West suggests:

  • Over half of young smokers report having purchased cigarettes containing foreign health warnings; and
  • A quarter of 15 and 16 year old smokers reported purchasing fake cigarettes.

Then this warning from my local council suggests that it isn’t likely to be confined to that region:

Officers from the Council have seized significant amounts of counterfeit Golden Virginia hand-rolling tobacco from itinerant sellers who are targeting customers at pubs and betting shops, as well as approaching people on the street.

The tobacco does not meet the standards set down by the UK Government for permitted levels of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide. There are concerns it may possibly contain additional chemicals and other substances that are hazardous to peoples’ health.

I’ve been in touch with council officers to make sure they are trying to make sure that young people in the area were specifically made aware of their concerns as well as informing the wider public.

I’m pleased to be able to say I received a positive response to my communication.

Filed under: tobacco

Confirmed Recall and Perceived Effectiveness of Tobacco Countermarketing Media in Rural Youth

More American research into the perceived effectiveness of public health messages about tobacco, this time with a rural population.

The adds seem to have been “vivid“; for example on focused on “fatty deposits being squeezed from a deceased smoker’s aorta”, while another has “a former smoker speaking through his electro-larynx”.

The researchers suggest that:

These findings indicate certain TV and radio ads depicting graphic health harms from tobacco—especially the TV ad Artery and the radio ad ABC—are highly recalled and perceived as effective by both American Indian and white girls and boys from a rural region. Future research is needed to better understand which individual- and media-level factors increase the likelihood that anti-tobacco ads will be effective in reducing youth tobacco use.

I tried finding the Artery advert on YouTube and while the one below is from Australia it seems to be in the same vein:

And one from the UK with a similar visual message:

Filed under: research, tobacco

Helping teenagers stop smoking: Comparative observations across youth settings in Cardiff

The Health Education Journal has a paper about how schools/colleges, youth centres, and specialist youth provision delivered a six-week smoking cessation and awareness programme to young people in Cardiff.

The researchers spoke to those taking part in the programme at week one and week six of the course and measured

changes in weekly smoking behaviour, weekly expenditure on cigarettes, knowledge about smoking and smoking cessation, attitudes toward smoking, motivation to quit/ cut down, and attrition.

They found that:

Schools/colleges and specialist youth provision had the highest levels of attendance, and positive change in attitude toward quitting was greatest in specialist youth settings (79 per cent of attendees were more determined to quit).

They go on to conclude:

specialist youth provisions were the most effective settings for delivery of this programme. Delivery of smoking awareness as part of a wider health curriculum for groups of excluded young people is also recommended.

Filed under: research, tobacco, Wales

Changing attitudes, knowledge and behaviour: A review of successful initiatives

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation have published a report looking at what successful public health campaigns dealing with other issues might have to teach those involved in changing attitudes, knowledge and behaviour around alcohol.

They suggest there are a number of common themes in the successful initiatives the authors have examined:

  • Long term commitment
  • (Re)Framing the problem and changing social norms
  • Understanding the target(s)
  • Planning
  • Positive offerings
  • Multiple approaches
  • Competition
  • Research

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: alcohol, Health, research, tobacco

Early tobacco smoking in adolescents with externalizing disorders: Inferences for reward function

Research from America into risk factors around smoking:

Factors that confer risk for chronic smoking include psychiatric factors, such as externalizing disorders, and potentially related neurobiological substrates, such as reward function. The present study examined the relationship between the externalizing disorders and the temporal progression of smoking among adolescent smokers.

The research found:

Adolescents with an externalizing disorder consumed more tobacco in the first 2 years of smoking than those without a disorder. There were no differences in speed of progression between groups, which may index a distinct functional pattern of reward systems that confers vulnerability for tobacco dependence.

Filed under: research, tobacco, USA

School based interventions to prevent the uptake of smoking among children

As I noted at the end of last week NICE are consulting on evidence papers around school based efforts to prevent young people from smoking. You can download the papers from here, but I thought it might be helpful to provide a summary of what they found, which you can find below.

One of the things I found interesting was that (in contrast to what NICE believe is effective in mass media campaigns) fear based approaches are seen as a barrier to providing prevention programmes in schools. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: NICE, tobacco

Students’ perception of community disapproval, perceived enforcement of school antismoking policies, personal beliefs, and their cigarette smoking behaviors

New research from America into the impact of school’s tobacco policies and young people’s smoking in Nicotine and Tobacco Research (see the abstract here).

The results seem promising:

Structural equation modeling indicated that perceived enforcement of school policy was directly and positively related to perceived community norms. In addition, adolescents’ personal beliefs appeared to mediate the relationship between perceived enforcement of school antismoking policies and past-30-day cigarette smoking. School policies, in turn, partially mediated the relationship between community norms and smoking beliefs.

Filed under: research, tobacco, USA

School-based interventions to prevent smoking: consultation on the evidence

NICE have published the evidence papers for the guidance they are developing on school based tobacco interventions.

There are 4 papers they are consulting on:

  • A cost effectiveness review;
  • A qualitative review;
  • An effectiveness review; and
  • An economic modelling report.

They say:

The aim of this consultation is to enable stakeholders to consider the evidence gathered and to provide the opportunity to comment, in particular on:

  • major gaps in the evidence gathered, including papers in the published literature that we have not been able to identify
  • queries around the interpretation of the evidence, both of single studies and the reviewed material as a whole
  • the applicability of the evidence and its usefulness for the development of guidance
  • issues relating to equality
  • issues relating to cost-effectiveness

Filed under: consultation, NICE, tobacco

Adolescent’s perceptions and expectations of parental action on children’s smoking and snus use

Here’s part of an abstract of Swedish research published in BMC Public Health.

Adolescent smoking in Sweden has decreased and the proportion who never tried smoking has increased. The results of this study show that a growing majority of adolescents support strong parental intervention to help them refrain from tobacco, but preferably not in a punitive manner. This finding dismisses the notion that adolescents ignore or even disdain parental practices concerning tobacco. Prevention strategies and interventions addressing adolescent tobacco use that involve parents can be improved by using these findings to encourage parents to intervene against their children’s tobacco use.

Filed under: International, research, tobacco

About this blog

This blog tries to pick up relevant media and research stories about drug education. It mainly focuses on information in England as this is the geographical remit for the Drug Education Forum. We welcome comments that are on topic.

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