This is about my early morning reading around ASSIST ( A Stop Smoking In Schools Trial) , a cluster randomised trial in the Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol research carried out by Prof R Campbell in 2008 where the research paper suggests that if the Peer-led approaches are implemented on a population basis, this intervention could lead to a reduction in adolescent smoking prevalence of public-health importance.
Tobacco use by young students is a public-health hazard worldwide. One of the influences the school can have is : “Schools are potentially valuable settings for smoking prevention because of the consistent access to students over several years.” (R Campbell, F Starkey, J Holliday et al). The article also suggests, Peer-led approaches is one of the way-forward in addressing the challenges. It says, “
ASSIST is a rigorous intervention process where Peer -led process is formulated using the well planned nomination of Peer supporters, recruitment of peer supporters, and ultimately training of peer supporters. Usual intervention period is 10-week, during which peer supporters expected to undertake informal conversations about smoking with their peer when travelling to and from school, in breaks, at lunchtime, and after school in their free time, and logged a record of these conversations in a simple pro-forma diary.
But at the end of all that Peer Supporters should be acknowledged. How? May be presentation of certificates to all peer supporters or presentation of gift vouchers to peer supporters who handed in their diary.
The article claimed with supporting evidence that their study showed the ASSIST training programme was effective in achievement of a sustained reduction in uptake of regular smoking in adolescents for 2 years after its delivery. It is noteworthy the use of external trainers rather than teachers to deliver the trainign programme, and holding the traingin in venues outside school, were greatly appreciated by students and school staff: the research paper stated.
Therefore, my main message: form “An informal school-based peer-led intervention for smoking prevention in adolescence”