CONFERENCE PROCEEDING
Using health promotion approach for increasing knowledge on harms of tobacco smoking and deciding actions to reduce tobacco smoking among undergraduates in Rajarata University of Sri Lanka
 
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Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Walagedara Gamage Nadeesha Sewwandi   

Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Mihintale, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Publication date: 2021-09-02
 
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A230
 
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ABSTRACT
Introduction:
In Sri Lanka evidence shows the mean age of initiation of smoking as 20.5 years and taking actions to reduce the burden of smoking among adults is essential.

Objectives:
To improve knowledge about harms of tobacco smoking and empower undergraduates to decide actions to reduce tobacco smoking using health promotion approach in Rajarata University of Sri Lanka (RUSL).

Methods:
A program was conducted with first year undergraduates (n=135, 80 girls and 55 boys) in Faculty of Applied Sciences, RUSL. A team of health promotion undergraduates in RUSL facilitated the whole program. Participants were divided into groups according to their preferences. Focus group discussions were conducted to enable undergraduates to identify tobacco consumption as a problem. Further discussions were taken to improve knowledge about short and, long term harms and about, second and third hand smoking. Success stories, a health promotion innovative tool called ‘Mirror tool’ which enables students to identify their own face as a smoker or non- smoker using a mirror, were used to facilitate discussions. Participants suggested some actions to address this issue. Data were collected by facilitators through focus group discussions and analyzed pre and post data using thematic analysis and descriptive statistics.

Results:
Participants’ knowledge about short term harms, long term harms and second and third hand smoking were improved by 70%, 20% and 75% from the current level respectively. They suggested to discuss about harms of smoking with others informally, aware about the expenditure for cigarettes, and to display ‘mirror tool’ in hostel wash rooms.

Conclusion(s):
Most of the youths have low knowledge about short term harms, second hand and third hand smokers rather than the knowledge of long term harms of smoking. Health promotion is a novel concept to improve knowledge about harms of smoking and it empowers youths to take actions to reduce smoking.

eISSN:1617-9625