Capacity building of teachers: A key to success of Tobacco Free School campaign
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Salaam Bombay Foundation, Nariman Point, Mumbai, India
Publication date: 2021-09-02
Corresponding author
Tshering Doma Bhutia   

Salaam Bombay Foundation, Nariman Point, Mumbai, India
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2021;19(Suppl 1):A275
Children spend about 6 hours of a day in school. Teachers have considerable influence on children’s attitudes and behaviour and often seen as positive role models. Capacity building of teachers to enable them to lead tobacco free schools initiatives is an effective way to protect children from tobacco.

To create awareness on tobacco ill-effects and advocate for tobacco free environment for children at schools, Salaam Bombay Foundation (SBF) in collaboration with Education Department of Maharashtra government launched 'Tobacco Free School' (TFS) campaign in Mumbai government schools in 2017

Campaign began with sensitization of school principals who were asked to identify nodal teachers to lead 'Tobacco Free School' campaign for their schools. SBF organized sensitization workshops for nodal teachers in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Kolkata, Jaipur and Bangalore. Trained nodal teachers conducted tobacco control workshops for the students of 7th to 9th grades. School Balpanchayats (Councils of students) having 8 members were also formed at each school to lead school and community level awareness activities and work to fulfill eight TFS criteria under the guidance of nodal teachers.

244139 children from 637 were reached through anti-tobacco awareness workshops conducted by teachers. 42,010 children created posters on 'Tobacco Free School, Clean School' through participation in drawing competition during Children's Day. 7622 students participated in anti-tobacco rallies organized in communities around schools. 5636 students pledged to stay away from tobacco. Other awareness activities conducted in schools and communities included essay competitions, rangoli drawing, street plays, oral health check-ups etc. 221 schools fulfilled all TFS criteria and were entitled as ‘Tobacco Free Schools’.

Tobacco Free school campaign involving teachers is effective and efficient tool to create anti-tobacco awareness among children, communities and stakeholders. Success of campaign through tobacco control workshops and awareness activities is a strong evidence to advocate for 'National Level Tobacco Free Schools’ campaign.

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