Program

Sep 27, 2007

OVERVIEW

The Smoke Free Class Competition is a school-based
smoking-prevention program for middle school students. Students involved
in the program are encouraged to keep their classmates from smoking, so as to
be eligible for prizes. Analyses found that the proportion of smokers
increased significantly less in competition schools than in control schools
during the intervention; however, the program did not have any lasting impacts.
One year after the competition was over, smoking rates
among students exposed to the competition were not significantly lower than
smoking rates among control students.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Middle school students

The Smoke Free Class Competition is a school-based
smoking-prevention program for middle school students. The program, which
has been widely implemented in Europe,
involves classes agreeing not to smoke for a period of several months.
Students monitor one another’s smoking behavior and report it regularly to
competition organizers. Classes that maintain smoking rates below 10% are
eligible for prizes. The competition is generally supplemented with
classroom instruction on resisting the pressure to smoke.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Crone, M. R., Reijneveld,
S. A., Willemsen, M. C., van Leerdam,
F. J. M., Spruijt, R. D., & Hira
Sing, R. A.
(2007).Prevention
of smoking in adolescents with lower education: a school-based intervention
study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 57, 675-680.

Evaluated population: Students from 26 lower
secondary schools in the Netherlands
were selected to participate in this study, resulting in a study sample of 1669
students. Students were 13 years old, on average.

Approach: Schools were ranked by size and stratified
by whether they included a national drug education program as part of their
school curriculum. Schools were then randomly assigned to either the
treatment group or the control group. Treatment schools took part in the
Smoke Free Class Competition. Related curriculum included three lessons
on knowledge, attitudes, and social influence. Two additional video
lessons on smoking and social influence were available to teachers at treatment
schools. Control schools did not take part in the competition. Both
treatment and control schools that had been implementing the national drug
education program persisted in implementing this program.

Students were surveyed on their smoking behavior at baseline
(October 1998), immediately after the intervention (June 1999), and one year
later (June 2000).

Results: Immediately following the intervention,
treatment students did not differ significantly from control students in their
attitudes towards smoking or their self-efficacy to refrain from smoking.
Treatment students did, however, report experiencing significantly more peer
pressure not to smoke.

During the intervention, the proportion of smokers increased
significantly less in treatment schools than in control schools. At the
one-year follow-up, however, the proportion of students smoking in treatment
schools did not significantly differ from the proportion of students smoking in
control schools.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

More information available at the Smoke-Free Class
Competition website:

http://www.smokefreeclass.info/

References:

Crone, M. R., Reijneveld,
S. A., Willemsen, M. C., van Leerdam,
F. J. M., Spruijt, R. D., & Hira
Sing, R. A. (2007).Prevention of
smoking in adolescents with lower education: a school-based intervention
study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 57, 675-680.

KEYWORDS: Middle Childhood (6-11), Adolescence (12-17),
Children (3-11), Middle School, School-based, Campaign, Life Skills Training, Social Skills/Life Skills,
Substance Use, Tobacco Use, Physical Health

Program information last updated on
9/27/07.