Topic 2 Recommendations for Developing School-Based Preventive Programs

  • I Development and strong reinforcements of a school policy on tobacco use/ alcohol use
  • II Provision of instruction about the negative consequences, peer norms and importantly, refusal skills
  • III Provision of education on tobacco/ alcohol and problematic internet use effects in each grade, starting from kindergarten through the end of secondary education.
  • IV Teachers should be educated on prevention
  • V Involve parents
  • VI Assess the preventive programs frequently

I Development and Strong Reinforcements of a School Policy on Tobacco/ Alcohol and Problematic Internet Use

  • Explain the rationale for prevention policy to teachers, children and parents
  • Prohibitions should regard students, teachers, parents, any visitors to school property, or any social gathering or event sponsored or organized by school
  • The advertising of any tobacco products and alcoholic beverages should be banned on school property
  • Students should have instructions on how to avoid tobacco/ alcohol and problematic internet use
  • All students, teachers and all school staff should have access to programs for smoking cessation/ alcohol misuse/ problematic internet use
  • Communication procedures should be in place
To secure the support for the prevention programs, the program should be developed in cooperation with students, parents, other teachers and school staff, the school board and important community members.

II Provision of Instruction About the Negative Consequences, Peer norms and Importantly, Refusal Skills

  • Important that the program is not limited to the provision of information or induction of fear of tobacco/ alcohol and problematic internet use among the children/ adolescents since it can awaken their curiosity
  • The information given should address:
    • Long–term and short-term consequences regarding the physiological, cosmetical and social aspects of tobacco use like decreased insurance, yellow teeth, the tobacco smell in clothes and breath
    • The community-wide programs aiming to decrease the acceptability of smoking and especially of alcohol use
    • Main drivers of smoking/ alcohol use/ and problematic internet use among children/ adolescents and aim to develop other modalities for attaining those aims. These reasons often include peer acceptance, feeling of maturity, or stress coping techniques.
    • Oritented to developing skills to recognize and not to fall under the influence of marketing in the media mostly
    • Aim to develop refusal skills through direct instruction, modelling, rehearsal and reinforcement
    • Include the exercises on skills development for assertiveness, communication, goal-setting and problem-solving.

III Provision of Education on Tobacco/ Alcohol Use and Problematic Internet Use Effects in Each Grade, Starting from Kindergarten through End of Secondary Education

  • First cigarette is smoked around the age of 11 to 13
  • The education should be intensive at that time
  • The increases in the intensity and duration of education to prevent tobacco use result in concomitant increases in effectiveness
  • Programs should be integrated into the curricula

IV Teachers Should be Educated on Prevention

  • Educated to deliver the program
  • Aware of the importance of programs
  • Aware of the underlying theory and conceptual framework of the program

V Involve Parents

  • The discussion at home can increase the likelihood of better understanding of consequences of smoking/ alcohol use and problematic internet use
  • The discussion at home can stimulate smoking cessation