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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

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Tobacco Education at School and Home: Student and Parent Perception

Tara George, Syosset High School, 70 Southwoods Road, Syosset, NY 11791

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the perceptions about tobacco education among students and parents, to test knowledge about the ill effects of tobacco and to identify the current smoking prevalence among high school students.

Methods: A survey was sent to both students and parents of the same family, inquiring about the ill effects of tobacco, smoking habits and satisfaction with current educational methods.

Results: Of 250 surveys distributed, 84% were returned. All parents surveyed had education at or above high school level, 90% discuss tobacco at home and 80% believed that the curriculum about tobacco provided at school is adequate. In spite of a good educational status, the parent's knowledge about tobacco is minimal. When asked about information on tobacco, 20% of parents and 30% of students had adequate information. Thirty nine percent of students tried smoking at least once and 47% of those who smoke have a parent who smokes as well. As a peer, 50% of those surveyed would ignore the smoking habit of their friends. In summary, the current form of education is ineffective in terms of producing adequate knowledge about tobacco, preventing a student from trying tobacco products and developing successful psychosocial skills to deny tobacco products and educating others about harmful effects of tobacco.