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Smoking prevention: what benefits are indicated by a pilot school drug education programme that focuses on minimising harm?

Mitchell, Johanna, Midford, Richard, Cahill, Helen, Ramsden, Robyn, Lester, Leanne, Venning, Lynne, Davenport, Gillian, Pose, Michelle and Murphy, Bernadette (2013). Smoking prevention: what benefits are indicated by a pilot school drug education programme that focuses on minimising harm?. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education,51(2):95-107.

Document type: Journal Article

IRMA ID 84279116xPUB8
Title Smoking prevention: what benefits are indicated by a pilot school drug education programme that focuses on minimising harm?
Author Mitchell, Johanna
Midford, Richard
Cahill, Helen
Ramsden, Robyn
Lester, Leanne
Venning, Lynne
Davenport, Gillian
Pose, Michelle
Murphy, Bernadette
Journal Name International Journal of Health Promotion and Education
Publication Date 2013
Volume Number 51
Issue Number 2
ISSN 1463-5240   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
eISSN 2164-9545
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84879116675
Start Page 95
End Page 107
Total Pages 13
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Background: This pilot study investigated the smoking prevention benefits of a secondary school drug education programme for all-licit and illicit drugs. The programme took a harm minimisation approach and incorporated abstinence as one of a range of prevention strategies.

Method: The study population comprised a cohort of 318 Victorian junior secondary school students (intervention N = 225 in three schools, control N = 93 in one school). During Years 8 (13–14-year-olds) and 9 (14–15-year-olds), the intervention students received a 22-lesson programme derived from evidence of effective practice and aimed at minimising the harm associated with drug use. Control students received the drug education programme normally provided by their school.

Results:
Students who received the intervention remembered receiving more lessons about smoking and were more knowledgeable about drug use issues overall. They were no less likely to take up smoking, but those who did smoke, reported smoking fewer cigarettes and experiencing fewer harms associated with their smoking.

Conclusions: This pilot study suggests that a harm minimisation approach to smoking can complement, rather than threaten, the abstinence message for adolescents. A school drug education programme with a harm reduction focus does not increase initiation into smoking and can equip smokers with the understanding and skills to make better decisions regarding use.
Keywords Tobacco
Adolescence
Harm minimisation
Education
Prevention
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14635240.2012.750073   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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Created: Thu, 07 Aug 2014, 17:14:44 CST