A school based health promotion intervention to address the smoking behaviors of school children in Walisinghe Harishchandra secondary school, Sri Lanka
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Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Mihintale, Sri Lanka
Publication date: 2021-09-02
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Dilini Ranasinghe   

Department of Health Promotion, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka, Mihintale, Sri Lanka
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A260
Smoking behaviors of school children has become a major problem in Sri Lanka and the prevalence is high in Anuradhapura district. The early age of initiation is very important to be considered to address this issue.

The objective of this study was to reduce the image of school children on tobacco users by improving knowledge on harmful effects of tobacco use.

This health promotion study was conducted with a randomly selected sample of 100 students in grade 6 in ‘Walisinghe Harishchandra Maha Vidyalaya’, a secondary school in Anuradhapura District, Sri Lanka. Discussions were conducted with students about short and long term harmful effects of smoking. In that, especially improved their knowledge on changes in appearance, economic burden of tobacco use through group activities. They were empowered to take actions to address the issue. The data were collected through focus group discussions and changes were analyzed by using qualitative and quantitative methods.

The knowledge on short and long term harmful effects of smoking was increased by 98 %. The students’ ability to identify ‘smoking faces’ was increased. They started to find out and count smoking faces in school and on their way to school. Students’ reactions towards users and their way of looking at users were changed. They suggested to take actions to reduce economic burden of tobacco consumption in their villages through children societies.

According to the results, this health promotion study was effective to improve the knowledge of students in grade 6 on real harm of tobacco consumption and it changed attitudes of students towards tobacco use. Therefore, health promotion approach can be suggested as an effective way to address the tobacco consumption among school children in secondary schools of Sri Lanka.

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