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Am J Health Promot. 2009 Jul-Aug;23(6):403-11. doi: 10.4278/ajhp.061105141.

Encouraging young Western Australians to be smarter than smoking.

Author information

1
School of Population Health, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, Western Australia. lisa.wood@uwa.edu.au

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Smarter than Smoking is a multistrategy statewide youth smoking intervention. This article describes key strategies and results from its inception in 1995 to 2005.

DESIGN:

Comprehensive evaluation included formative research and baseline and follow-up surveys. Triennial national surveys provided independent monitoring of adolescent smoking prevalence.

SETTING:

Western Australia.

SUBJECTS:

10- to 15-year-olds.

INTERVENTION:

A multipronged strategy mix, including mass media, the Internet, sponsorship, school initiatives, publications, and advocacy.

MEASURES:

Smoking prevalence, media awareness, and attitudes toward smoking and campaign messages.

ANALYSIS:

Trend comparisons across the first decade of the project, along with descriptive statistics.

RESULTS:

Significant attitudinal and behavioral shifts were observed following media waves and over time. There was a steady increase in the proportion who had never smoked (from 40% in 1996 to 61% in 2005). Results also showed a significant decrease in smoking prevalence from 1996 to 2005, down from 28% to 7% among 14-year-olds and from 43% to 14% among 15-year-olds.

CONCLUSIONS:

Smarter than Smoking was effective in achieving positive shifts in awareness, attitudes, intentions, and behavior. Effectiveness appeared to have been enhanced by sustained long-term funding, youth involvement in strategy development, and a strong research and evaluation base.

PMID:
19601480
DOI:
10.4278/ajhp.061105141
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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