185635 School policy against smoking and high school student's smoking behavior: A national multi-level study in Japan

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hideyuki Kanda, MD, PhD , Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan
Yoneatsu Osaki, MD, PhD , Environmental and Preventive Medicine, Tottori University, Yonago, Japan
Takashi Ohida, MD, PhD , Public health, Nihon University, School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
Takeo Tanihata, MD, PhD , Department of Epidemiology, National Institute of Public Health, Wako, Japan
Yoshitaka Kaneita, MD, PhD , Public health, Nihon University, School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
Masumi Minowa, MD, PhD , Department of Human Life and Culture, Seitoku University, Matsudo, Japan
Kenji Suzuki, MD, PhD , Suzuki Mental Clinic, Hayama, Japan
Kenji Hayashi, MD, PhD , National Institute of Public Health, Wako, Japan
OBJECTIVES: The international evidence about the effectiveness of school policy against smoking among high school students is equivocal. The aim of the current study was to explore this in school clusters stratified according to school policy against smoking while adjusting for characteristics of individual students.

METHOD: This multi-level study was based on a cross-sectional self-reported anonymous national-wide data from 179 high schools, 102,451 students who participated in the 2004 National Smoking Survey among Japanese high school students. The main independent variables were school-level variables like school policies or educations against smoking which reported by teachers, and individual variables like gender, grade and alcohol behavior. Multi-level analysis was used to examine the influence variable at school-level as well as individual characteristics had on smoking status of high schools students.

RESULTS: Smoking experience and smoking rate among high school students were predicted by individual-level factors such as boys, grade and alcohol behavior, but it couldn't find strong significant differences between school-level variables and student's smoking behaviors.

CONCLUSIONS: We found that a school policy against smoking was less effective than individual characteristics among high school students. School smoking policy should be monitored as to the impact of policy to smoking and educational outcomes by national-wide data.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss school policy against smoking with other researchers

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I aquired, analysed and interpreted the data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.