Department of Legal Medicine, NRITLD, Shahid Beheshti University, M.C,
Tohid Counselling and Psychological Services, Ministry of Education and Training
Tobacco Prevention and Control Research Center, NRITLD, Shahid Beheshti University, M.C, TEHRAN-IRAN.
Background: Smoking is the first cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the world. This study aimed to compare different methods in reducing the students’ tendency towards smoking. Materials and Methods: This semi-experimental study comprised all 7th grade students studying in middle schools throughout Iran in the year 2005-2006. Students were divided into 4 groups: three study groups (social skills training, increasing knowledge and poster presentation) and 1 control group. Sampling method used was multi-phase cluster. The country was geographically divided into 5 districts (north, south, east, west and central) and the provinces were selected randomly. A questionnaire was used to collect the data. These questionnaires were designed to evaluate the attitude and knowledge of students with regard to smoking and complications. Results: A total of 2911 students with the mean age of 13 years were studied out of which 7.4% were smokers. There were significant differences between the study groups and the control group regarding the attitude and knowledge about the hazards of smoking and abuse of illicit substances. In other words, among the study groups, social skills training, building knowledge and poster presentation had the best results, respectively. Conclusion: In evaluating the preventive methods, social skills training group had the most negative attitude and the highest level of knowledge concerning the disadvantages and hazards of smoking and use of illegal substances. The greatest decrease in smoking was also observed in this group. Social skills training can be an effective preventive measure to control smoking by emphasizing self-respect, problem-solving skills and self restraint. (Tanaffos 2008; 7(3): 53-58)