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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

Development of School-Based Interactive Theatre Tours in the past Decade: from the Perspective of Preventing Youth Smoking to Change Agent Cultivation

Vienna Wai-yin LAI, Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health, Unit 4402-03, 44/F Hopewell Centre,, 183 Queen's Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong, China

Objective: Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health (COSH) has developed an "Interactive Theatre Program" since 1995 which based on an “infotaining” approach of combining information and entertainment elements to improve adolescents' knowledge and attitudes about smoking. From 2003, COSH has developed this program a great leap forward by adding a “Smoke-free Agent Training Program” which encourages students to carry out a series of smoke-free missions for the building of a smoke-free Hong Kong. COSH intends to develop adolescents as change agents to de-normalize smoking in the society.

Methods: The effort of this program focused on educating students about: i) the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoking; ii) the strategies of tobacco industry; iii) importance of persuading parents, siblings and friends to quit smoking; and iv) roles of individuals in building a smoke-free community.

Results: From 1995-2006, over 270,000 students participated in this program. In the evaluation report of 2002, about 94.3% primary students thought the show either very good or good. The program was proved effective in improving students' knowledge on smoking (84% students thought smoking can cause breathlessness before the show and increased to 92.3% after the show) and attitudes about smoking (81.4% students conceded smoking cannot relaxes nerves before the show and increased to 87.9% after the show) and in reducing possible smoking (77% students thought they sure not to smoke when grown up before the show and increased to 79.9% after the show). The Council is currently conducting a prospective study to verify the long-term effects of this program.

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