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Salud mental

versão impressa ISSN 0185-3325


NUNO-GUTIERREZ, Bertha Lidia; ALVAREZ-NEMEGYEI, José  e  MADRIGAL-DE LEON, Eduardo A.. Effect of an anti-tobacco intervention in high school students from Guadalajara, Mexico. Salud Ment [online]. 2008, vol.31, n.3, pp.181-188. ISSN 0185-3325.

Introduction Recent data, both domestic and from the world over, have shown that the epidemiologic impact of tobacco consumption has a higher increase rate among adolescent population, particularly women, than in the general population. This has highlighted the need to implement preventive intervention programs focused on young people. The school environment seems to be the most adequate space to achieve such a goal. Most school intervention reports aimed at reducing tobacco consumption among students have been carried out in the United States and have both had a positive effect and proven to be cost-effective. In Mexico, there is only one antecedent of a successful prevention program conducted in an elementary school. Results from this suggest that behavioural abilities acquisition reduces the prevalence of tobacco experimentation and promotes cessation among those already using it. Given the lack of educational interventions and the fact that tobacco consumption tends to increase among Mexican high school students, we conducted this study aiming to implement an educational intervention on tobacco consumption among adolescent high school students from the Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico. Later on we proceeded to evaluate its effect. Material and methods Based on a diagnostic and a literature review from successful anti-tobacco consumption programs, we devised a campaign called <<Stop burning yourself out>>. This lasted for half a school year and included parents, teachers and non-smoking peers. Parents participated in five sessions aimed at promoting abstinence from tobacco consumption at home. Forty-two teachers, trained as campaign mediators, participated. A manual describing the contents from each session was elaborated for quality control purposes. Students themselves participated in four monthly sessions, were given anti-tobacco messages, watched anti-tobacco educational documentaries -under the supervision and discussion of a professor-, and exchanged cigarettes for chewing gum with non-smoking peers. In addition, a Tobacco Clinic was established, a mouth-teeth exam was carried out, and an anti-tobacco poster was displayed at the school. The poster message was changed each month. School measures regarding the ban on cigarettes sale on the school premises were likewise reinforced. Right before starting the campaign and immediately after finishing it, tobacco consumption rates, the type of consumption, the likelihood of using tobacco in the near future and the level of understanding as to the harmful effects on health of tobacco consumption were all evaluated using validated and standardized surveys. All measurements were carried out with an electronic questionnaire. The intervention effect evaluation was carried out with two independent samples: a base sample and a final sample before the campaign conclusion. Calculation of the sample size required for both surveys was based on data from a diagnostic study conducted at the same school. Participants were randomly selected. The project was approved by an Ethics and Research Committee from the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (National Social Security Institute) and all the students participated in the educational intervention. Results Whereas 621 adolescents participated in the base evaluation, a total of 524 of them took part in the final evaluation. Parental attendance at the various sessions changed from 90% to 20%. A total of 2675 mouth-teeth exams were carried out. At these, tooth cavities decay, lack of dental hygiene and gengivitis were detected. In turn, this resulted in suggestions to attend regular health care services for treatment. At the Tobacco Clinic, a group of 20 family parents was formed for treatment. The once-in-a-lifetime, in the last 12 months, and in the last previous month tobacco consumption prevalence accounted to 43.6%, 23.0%, and 24.3%, respectively. Experimental versus regular tobacco consumption were 34.9% and 7.2%. Nonsmoking population was 57.8%. In the same base evaluation, 9.7% of the students considered it was very likely they would smoke in the future, 46.9% considered it barely likely, and 43.5% considered they would never smoke in the future. The positive effect of the campaign was reflected in the type of tobacco consumption as there was a reduction in the rate of experimental smokers, as well as an increase in the number of non-smokers in the final evaluation compared to the base one. The rate of regular smokers did not change from one evaluation to the other. The once-in-a-lifetime, in the last twelve months, and in the last month frequency of consumption, together with the likelihood of smoking in the near future, showed no changes in the final evaluation compared to the base one. In the base evaluation, a high level of understanding about the harmful effects of tobacco on the pulmonary system and a moderate level of understanding about the harmful effects of tobacco on the heart and the female reproductive system, as well as on the stomach and liver, were observed, while there was a low level of understanding about the harmful effects of tobacco on the rest of the organic systems. In the final evaluation, it was observed that the understanding level of organic systems about which it was moderate or high remained the same. In addition, a significant increase of the understanding about the harmful effects of tobacco on the ocular system and the urinary tracts was observed. The level of understanding about the harmful effects of tobacco on the rest of the organic system remained also the same.

Palavras-chave : Adolescence; educative intervention; health promotion; smoking; tobacco consumption.

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