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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health
Building capacity for a tobacco-free world
July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA
Objective: In Latin America there is a lack of high-quality evidence about the effectiveness of different interventions to prevent students from smoking. Our aim was to evaluate the long term efficacy of a school-based approach to reduce the incidence of new smokers among adolescents by 50 %.
Methods: We randomized 38 clusters in Buenos Aires: 1st year secondary school and 31 clusters in La Plata: 8th grade, to compare the results between the intervention and contamination groups vs. the control group. The intervention consisted in 13 classes performed by trained teachers who taught different skills. Two adapted surveys were used to evaluate the
results: Botvin and The Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS). For qualitative research focus groups with students and teachers were implemented.
Results: A total of 943 students (average age 14.2, female 61.2%, current smokers: 17.2%) were analyzed separately in the two cities, due to differences in baseline characteristics.
Results: The incidence of new smokers in La Plata was 8.94 %, 6.54 % and 6.15 % in the intervention, contamination and control groups. In Buenos Aires the incidence was 14.09 %, 18.24 %, 10.71 % for the three groups respectively. No significant differences among the three strategies were found. There were no statistically significant differences in several skills evaluated by Botvin and GYTS surveys in the intervention and contamination vs. the control groups. The qualitative approach showed positive leaders and changes in attitudes among the students involved in the focus strategy. Teachers expressed high degree of satisfaction.