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Adverse effects of a social contract smoking prevention program for children in Quebec, Canada
  1. Sylvia Kairouz1,
  2. Jennifer O'Loughlin2,*,
  3. Johanne Lague3
  1. 1 Concordia University, Canada;
  2. 2 Centre de recherche CHUM, Canada;
  3. 3 Institut national de sante publique du Quebec, Canada
  1. To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jennifer.oloughlin{at}umontreal.ca

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of a smokefree-class competition in elementary schools in Quebec, Canada before widespread dissemination of the program across the province.

Methods: In a quasi-experimental study design, 843 students in 27 schools exposed to Mission TNT.06 were compared to 1213 students in 57 matched comparison schools. Baseline data were collected in grade 6 prior to implementation of the program. Follow-up data were collected in grade 7 after students had transitioned to secondary school.

Results: The program improved knowledge about the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, but had no impact on knowledge about the harmful effects of smoking, attitudes about the acceptability of cigarettes, beliefs about the tobacco industry, and self-efficacy to resist peer pressure to smoke. After exposure to the program, intervention students were more likely to misreport their smoking status and to report unfavorable attitudes about classmates who smoke.

Conclusion: Mission TNT.06 may encourage young smokers to misreport their smoking status and to marginalize classmates who smoke. These findings prompted recommendations to conduct more in-depth evaluation of the smokefree-class competition before widespread dissemination of the program across the province.

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