Plan of Action and Strategies to Combat Smoking in Children and Youth: School and Hospital Based Study

Hamzullah Khan, Mir Hassan Khan, Zainullah Khan, Muhammad Zakir, Hamid Nawaz, Muhammad Tahir, Saadullah Afridi, Hikmatullah Jan

Abstract


Background: Youth smoking is a worldwide problem This study was conducted to determine the opinion of the physicians, community experts and school teachers regarding plan of action and strategies to combat smoking in children and youth of the nation.

Material & Methods: It was a cross-sectional study conducted in two teaching hospitals of Peshawar, two schools of Nowshera and Department of Public Health, Ghandhara University, Peshawar, from 12th March to 15th May 2008. Seventy respondents were randomly selected, 28.56% school teachers, 50% physicians, 14.28% community experts from ICMS and 5(7.14%) from postgraduate technology college swat. Questionnaire was designed in accordance to the objectives of the study.

Results: Analysis of questionnaires revealed: Restrict youth access to smoking (active as well as passive) (88.57%), mass media campaign (80%), tobacco control legislation and its empoverment (74.28%), national physical activity policy (48.57%), conducting workshops (30%), research promotion (25.71%). Community approaches should be more specific towards community education and awareness (68.57%), community meetings (51.42%), social environments are targeted for change (47.14%), walks (44.28%), understanding knowledge, attitude, and behaviors of youth towards smoking (41.42%) and community organizations involvement (22.85%). Individual approaches to combat tobacco smoking are to quit smoking (82.88%), appropriate medicine in time if is patient or at risk (32.85%) and leadership and advocacy (27.14%). SchoolBased Prevention of smoking in children and youth should target schools to develop and enforce tobacco free environment (88.57%), provision of information on consequences of smoking (72.85%), information on the social influences of smoking (65.71%) and educational programs and health promotion activities (48.57%).

Conclusion: While establishing a strategy for prevention and control of tobacco smoking in youth there is need to offer multiple approaches on national, community, school and individual levels.


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© 2011 Gomal Journal of Medical Sciences