Use of puppet shows for promoting smoke-free home and training children about the harmful of smoke and care for themselves, in Tehran´s kindergartens
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Iranian Anti Tobacco Association, Iran, Islamic Rep. Of
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A380
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Background and challenges to implementation:
By selecting ten kindergartens in Tehran and using a questionnaire, Clean Breath Center measured the rate of smoking in the families. About 54% of parents reported tobacco (cigarette or hookah) smoking in their home; while in 49 percent of cases, tobacco use was in the presence of children. The center, in a new move, prepared several entertaining puppet shows for children and performed them annually in at least sixty kindergartens.

Intervention or response:
In these shows, the effects of cigarette smoke on children were explained, and the puppets displayed strategies to avoid tobacco smoke. In fact, children learned not only about the disadvantages of tobacco smoking, but also about talking with their parents and encouraging them to quit. Children also learned to not sitting next to smokers. Moreover, educational pamphlets on the effects of tobacco use and its smoke on the body of children were distributed among parents. A few months later, interview with about 200 children, a questionnaire was distributed among parents to examine the outcomes of the program.

Results and lessons learnt:
The children were happy with the shows and had conveyed anti-tobacco messages to their parents. Also, if someone did not listen to them and smoked next to them, they left the place. Parents also were happy with the training, and 38 percent of them said that the exposure of children to tobacco smoke in home had been reduced, while 5 percent of parents had quit smoking.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
Childhood is an important stage for shaping the attitudes of children, and they must be provided with age-appropriate education in a cheerful and attractive way. Children can play an important role in tobacco control and encouraging people to quit. Through these activities, children learn that the clean air is their actual right and they must defend their rights and their health in the community.

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