Universal coverage of comprehensive school-based tobacco control programs to reduce youth smoking in Seoul, Korea
Heewon Kang 1  
,   Seong Yeon Kim 1,   Myungwha Jang 2,   Seunghyun Yoo 1, 2,   Joo Youn Chung 3,   Sung-Il Cho 1, 2
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Department of Public Health Science, Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Korea, Republic of
Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Korea, Republic of
Korea Health Promotion Institute, Korea, Republic of
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A554
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This study aims to examine the effects of comprehensive school-based tobacco control programs universally provided in schools of Seoul City, Korea.

To investigate the current status of school-based tobacco control programs, data were acquired from The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education. To assess the capacity to implement tobacco control programs, the “Five-P's” matrix was used. The matrix consists of 5 domains: Policies, Program, People, Provision of funds, and Partnerships. To measure smoking behavior changes, we analyzed data from the 2015-2016 Korea Youth Risk Behavior Web-based Survey of adolescents (aged 12-18 years) in Seoul. Measures included smoking prevalence, age at smoking initiation, and proportion of quit attempts.

Since 1999, Korean government has promoted school-based tobacco control programs. Less than 10% of schools had offered the programs until 2014. With the increase of tobacco tax in 2015, 100% schools started to provide comprehensive tobacco control programs including tobacco-free policies, anti-tobacco education and activities. Each school designated at least one teacher in charge. In 2016, a total of 3.9 million USD was invested in Seoul, with more than 70% of the funds allocated to a total of 1,300 schools, covering 976,000 students. Partnerships to enforce programs were also developed with community health centers. The prevalence of smoking among adolescents in Seoul was 7.0% in 2015 and 5.8% in 2016, a 17% reduction in one year. Smoking initiation age increased slightly from 12.7 to 12.9 years. Proportion of quit attempts continued to be as high as 73.5% in 2015 and 2016.

Universal coverage of school-based tobacco control programs appears to result in a significant reduction of youth smoking. Previously decreasing trend of smoking prevalence in Seoul adolescents has accelerated with the expansion of school-based tobacco control programs. The effectiveness of the programs needs to be monitored and continuously enhanced to achieve a tobacco-free generation.