Tobacco use patterns, knowledge, attitudes towards tobacco and availability of tobacco control training among school personnel from a rural area in Poland
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Department of Tobacco Control, Preventive Medicine Department, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
Department of Social Medicine, Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
Dorota Kaleta   

Department of Tobacco Control, Preventive Medicine Department, Medical University of Lodz, Zeligowskiego 7/9 Str, 90-752 Lodz, Poland
Publish date: 2017-01-11
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2017;15(January):3
Tobacco-free school environment as well as non-smoking teachers and school personnel provide positive role models for children and young people. In Poland, smoking should be banned in colleges, schools, educational establishments and educational care facilities. However, for the existing law to be effective, awareness of all people in school curriculum and enforcement of the law are crucial. The aim of the study was to evaluate tobacco use patterns, knowledge and attitudes towards tobacco as well as availability of tobacco control training among school personnel in a rural area in Poland. Moreover, compliance with tobacco control policies and their enforcement were assessed.

The study was carried out in Piotrkowski district between November 2014 and May 2015 in accordance with the Global School Personnel Survey (GSPS) methodology. Sixty schools participated in the survey (92% of the schools from the region) with involvement of 1044 teachers and 500 non-teaching staff (the response rate – 83.1%). The multivariate linear regression analyses were applied to study factors linked to the need for anti-tobacco training dedicated to the youth and teachers’ knowledge as well as activities to educate the students about tobacco use and its prevention.

About 24% of the school personnel were current and 9% were ex-smokers. Significantly more teachers than the non-teaching staff indicated that the schools had a policy prohibiting tobacco use among students. In addition, 6% of the study participants indicated everyday violations of the tobacco control policy by the school personnel. More than 80% of the teaching personnel indicated the need for training dedicated to the youth to prevent their tobacco use. In the multivariate linear regression model, longer duration of working experience predicted higher levels of knowledge and more activities performed to teach the youth about tobacco use and its prevention. The smokers comparing to the non–smokers perceived the need for anti- tobacco training among the youth less strongly.

In order to make it possible for the inhabitants of Piotrkowski district to work and learn in tobacco smoke free environment there is an urgent need for taking actions aiming at increasing effectiveness of enforcing applicable tobacco control regulations in educational units. The necessity for systematic training dedicated to the youth to prevent their tobacco use, including accurate preparation of teachers, also needs to be highlighted.

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