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Am J Public Health. 2009 May;99(5):899-906. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.145433. Epub 2009 Mar 19.

Preventing tobacco use among young people in India: Project MYTRI.

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University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus, 313 E 12th St, Suite 220, Austin, TX 78701, USA.



We assessed the effectiveness of a 2-year multicomponent, school-based intervention designed to reduce tobacco use rates among adolescents in an urban area of India.


Students from 32 schools in Delhi and Chennai, India, were recruited and randomly assigned to an intervention or control group. Baseline, intermediate, and outcome data were collected from 2 cohorts of 6th- and 8th-grade students in 2004; 14,063 students took part in the study and completed a survey in 2004, 2005, or 2006. The intervention consisted of behavioral classroom curricula, school posters, a parental involvement component, and peer-led activism. The main outcome measures were self-reported use of cigarettes, bidis (small hand-rolled, often flavored, cigarettes), and chewing tobacco and future intentions to smoke or use chewing tobacco.


Findings showed that students in the intervention group were significantly less likely than were students in the control group to exhibit increases in cigarette smoking or bidi smoking over the 2-year study period. They were also less likely to intend to smoke or chew tobacco in the future.


School-based programs similar to the intervention examined here should be considered as part of a multistrategy approach to reducing tobacco use among young people in India.

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