A multilevel analysis examining the association between school-based smoking policies, prevention programs and youth smoking behavior: evaluating a provincial tobacco control strategy

D. A Murnaghan, S. T Leatherdale, Marja Sihvonen, Pertti Kekki

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    This paper examined how smoking policies and programs are associated with smoking behavior among Grade 10 students (n = 4709) between 1999 and 2001. Data from the Tobacco Module from the School Health Action Planning and Evaluation System were examined using multilevel logistic regression analyses. We identified that (i) attending a school with smoking prevention programs only was associated with a substantial risk of occasional smoking among students with two or more close smoking friends and (ii) attending a school with both smoking prevention programs and policies was associated with substantial risk of occasional smoking among students who did not believe there were clear smoking rules present. Students attending schools where year of enrolment in high school starts in Grade 9 were more likely to be regular and occasional smokers. Each 1% increase in Grade 12 smoking rates increased the odds that a Grade 10 student was an occasional smoker. It appears that grade of enrolment, senior student smoking behavior, close friend's smoking behavior and clear rules about smoking at school can impact school-based tobacco control programming. These preliminary study findings suggest the need for further research targeting occasional smoking behavior and the transition stage into high school.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalHealth Education Research
    Pages (from-to)1017-1028
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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